Jan. 13th, 2009

druidspell: Ex Adversum, Libertas (Adversity)
I've formed the kind of friendships that refuse to be casual my entire life. When I consider you one of my best friends, it means that I literally have a hard time picturing my life without you in it. And that does mean that yeah, it takes me a while to build up to a relationship where I'm willing to name you "friend", let alone one of my closest friends. But it also means that once I do... you're a part of my life forever.
My first best friend was Ria--we met when we were less than a year old, played together every day until my family and I moved away, and stayed friends through three grade schools, high school, and three colleges. When good things happen in her family, I celebrate because it's almost as good as a happy event in my family. (Sometimes it's better.) When hard things happen, I grieve with her, because anything that causes her pain hurts me as well.
Chronologically, my next best friend was Bridgette. She was... Bridgette was my entire world. And even when she was much more important to me than I was to her, I still made her my world, still put her on a pedestal, because she was everything. I realized a while ago that I fell in love with her sometime between age 6 and age 11, and I never really fell *out* of love with her, even though it's been 11 years since we named each other our mutual best friends. I haven't seen her in more than 4 years, and I still think of her almost every day.
(Fiona and Shannon, I met at almost the same time, through the same venue, and I was a little in awe of these two.)
Fiona was someone who made me feel welcome at DarkForest, who wrote with me and chatted with me, who made me feel more secure in my own sanity because there was someone else in the world who felt some of the same things I felt. And we had some iffy patches, times when we were on opposite sides of the issue at hand. But Fi never once made me feel like she didn't respect my feelings, or my right to believe what I wanted to believe (whether or not she felt like I was wronger than a wrong thing). These days, she's still one of my best friends, and I'll be moving in with her in August 2010, when I move to Texas. I explained to Thomas and Darkstar, when we were talking once before her second visit to Kentucky, that she's like my spiritual packmate.
Shannon was someone who, when I met her, made me want to be better. And it was a desire she inspired in me the entire time that we were writing together, through good times and bad. It's true what they say, nobody hurts you like best friends and family, because oh gods, we hurt each other badly. The two of us broke each others hearts. But this past summer, Shannon took a major step, coming down to Kentucky, and we managed to talk to each other face to face for the first time and hash out some of the things we'd done and what we'd learned from them, and I still think that I've learned more from Shannon in 9 years than I've learned from nearly anyone else I've ever met. She still makes me want to be better.
Jacynthia I met when I was four, but at the time, you couldn't stretch any definition of "friend" to include what our relationship to one another was. I was the bratty little sister of her best friend, and they hated it when I tagged along on their adventures. It wasn't until my freshman year, when I tagged along on the Speech Team adventure to the Cave Run Storytelling Festival, that we became friends ourselves. Once we became friends, though, "living out of each other's pockets" wouldn't be an inaccurate description of our lives. It was with Jacynthia that I met Mommy--who has shaped us both, for good and for ill--, with Jacynthia that I got my first (and hopefully last) job in retail, with Jacynthia that I braved the bad side of the barrio, college, and assorted (mis)adventures on the Planes. I'd pick her at my side over entire armies, and together I think we'd win.
If I had to conquer the world, I think I might make Ross my military brain. I would not let him clone me, as he's been hoping to do since he was 6. (Make A Wish wouldn't let him clone me either; I think that's how he ended up with a Furby instead of a trip to Jurassic Park or a chance to meet the guy who played Boba Fett for his wish.) I would choose him at his worst over the rest of the world at their best, and I'll tell you why: When I was twelve years old, I watched this boy die by inches, then make a recovery that I still can't call anything but miraculous. Ross single-handedly restored almost complete faith in the existence of God for me.

I wouldn't be anywhere today without these people. If there's anything you love about me? You can thank one of them for encouraging that quality.

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druidspell: Me, bowling at a family reunion, with my username inset in the bottom right corner. The blurriness is intentional. (Default)
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