Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Seven Years: A Letter to My Best Friend

A man and a woman walking down straight railway tracks, balancing on the rails

Dear Page,

Today, we have been friends for seven years.

I was going to talk about how all the cells in a human body are replaced over seven years, but apparently, this is a myth. Which is a bummer for me, because I had this cool idea for this post planned, about how, like we are no longer the same people, cellularly, as we were when you sent me that Facebook message seven years ago, we are also no longer the same people as we were, personally. You know, from reading the post I linked to, I think it's likely most of our cells have been replaced by now, so I'm just going to run with it (and maybe repeat myself, a little).

It's strange to think that the guy who sent that Facebook message and the girl who received it, on a cellular level, no longer exist (ahem, except for those neurons, of course. And whatever else.) We have rejuvenated (ha!) into the people we are today. Similarly, as humans who grow and change, we're no longer the same people we were seven years ago.

A lot has happened in seven years. There is a person absent from my life, there has been an addition to yours (with another on the way!). There have been some seriously difficult, heartbreaking times, and absolutely wonderful, joyous times. If I look back and think about the girl I was, she's almost unrecognisable - sure, I'm still silly, and still the same nice (oh, how I dislike that word), caring girl who worries far too much, but that girl wasn't as strong as I am, didn't know what I do now, wasn't as aware about the world she lived in.

Do you think you've changed? I think you have. You're still confident and charismatic, and have your enviable "I don't give a crap what you think about me" attitude. You still ooze Cool in a way that is infuriating, as I'll never be as cool as you, and yet you're also, still, geeky and super intelligent (which is still a tiny bit intimidating). But yeah, I think you've changed, too. I think you maybe believe in yourself and your talents a little bit more than you did, as you allow yourself to do the things you enjoy now - writing especially. I also think your little girl has changed you. Not in massive ways, but you seem much more comfortable being softer than you were before, talking about how much you love her and how proud you are of her. It never felt like you were all that comfortable being emotional - or, rather, talking about your emotions - before Minnie, unless it was over a book or a movie. You're still cynical as hell, but I think in some ways, you're happier now; Minnie makes you happy, and, I think, you're happier with where your life is heading than I think you thought you would be. I don't think either of us, seven years ago, would have thought our lives would lead to where they are now. I think that's good, though; as well as the happy times, we've both had our fair share of heartache, and who would want to know of the crap that's awaiting them?

Seven years has gone by, a lot has happened and a lot has changed, but our friendship has just grown stronger. You've been there for me through all my highs and lows, and I hope I've been there for most of yours, too. Though I know not all, and that bothers me. I know it wasn't my fault, but I'm sorry. It still gets to me; you have been the best friend I have ever had, and yet I've failed to notice when you were going through something huge, and I will always berate myself for not being as good a friend to you as have been to me. I'm afraid, in an effort to make it up to you, you're going to have to put up with me asking if everything is ok if you even seem even a tiny bit down. I don't want to not notice and let you down again.

There's not a single person who knows me as well as you do. I'm never going to be able to express how grateful I am for your friendship, or for how quickly and easily you accepted me for who I am - liking me, instead of deciding I'm a moron after ten seconds (is it ten seconds?), despite my quirks, my flaws, my silliness, my ridiculous excitement over nothing, my worrying and over thinking, my self-doubt and insecurities. You accepting me, made me feel it was ok to be me, all of me, when others had made me feel parts of me were too much or not enough. You accepting me led to me accepting myself, and for that, I can never thank you enough.

I know the seven years, new cells thing isn't true, but I can't get the idea out of my head. That after seven years, there's a new "you". And how that's working out in my head as, as we are new people after seven years of friendship, that kind of means that this chapter in our friendship has ended, and now a new one starts. I know it's ridiculous, but it just seems significant in my head (isn't the number seven mystical or lucky in some cultures? Whatever, I'm letting my head run away with me) - so here's to the next seven years and the next chapter in our friendship, Page!

Thank you for being my best friend.


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