More than 20 years ago I met the person I would always consider my best friend. We met as Freshman in high school and have managed to endure the ups and downs of our lives. We stood next to each other as we both got married and we were there for each other as we each experienced the end of our first marriages.
Our lives have not always pointed in the same direction. In fact, more times than not, we have found ourselves at completely different stages in life, yet our friendship has sustained. We have never allowed months of not seeing each other, or even living oceans apart dictate how we feel about each other. She is a true friend because she is always there in my heart the way a sister or relative is always there. To me, it’s not about how often we hang out or how much we actually get to see each other. My best friend is determined by how we feel about each other.
Recently though, I have felt like a bad friend. I have shut her out and it kills me knowing she deserves better. For the first time ever (other than when she lived overseas) I missed her birthday celebration. I don’t even have that great of an excuse other than I was tired and it was late and emotionally I have been too spent lately. I have not allowed room in my life for her or any of my friendships because I have been so busy trying to balance everything else without falling apart.
So when the book The HerStories Project: Women Explore the Joy, Pain, and Power of Female Friendship arrived in the mail, I felt a strange combination of pride, joy and guilt. I am now a published author! I should be jumping up and down. My essay about the difficulties of making friends as adults was published in this amazing anthology along side 50 talented writers. I am so honored to be included in this book about the many sides of friendship between women.
Yet, as I held the beautiful purple book and started to read tale after tale of friendship, my guilt just grew and grew. I realize I have been a terrible friend. I have taken one of my prized relationships for granted and here I am being featured in this book about friendships.
Kind of ironic, right? I could have promoted this book without talking about how conflicted I feel, but I knew this wouldn’t be honest. My best friend deserves better. This book deserves better.
I really love the book and not just because one of my stories is featured. You see, the diverse collection of essays made me think about all of my relationships and friendships. I realize more than ever that forming new friendships is hard for many people and that you have to hang on to your old ones or you can lose them. My heart broke with every essay about a friendship lost. Friendships take work, time and prioritization.
So that is what I pledge to do. I will recommit to my old friendships and perhaps put myself out there to form some new ones. Who knew that a book about friendship could save my own real life friendships.
Please support this book (and me) and consider buying yourself and maybe even your best friend(s) a copy of The HerStories Project: Women Explore the Joy, Pain, and Power of Female Friendship.
Disclosure: The links above are affiliate links. If you purchase the book through these links, I will get a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book. So please use these links to buy your copy:)
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