Fifteen years ago, I met the love of my life and twelve years ago, I got to marry him. Truth is, though, that at the time, I already had three soul mates. Three people that held the core of my heart and I loved them back with every fiber of my being. These friendships got me through every turn of life, each at different times when I needed it most.
Deep, true friendships between women (or as little girls when we first met) are hard to find, and even harder to keep as life shapes us into adulthood. We may lose each other in moments along the way, fight ourselves out of the next group chat, but naturally fall into our groove again. Over and over, we form the inner circle of each other’s lives.
My husband doesn’t get it, but that’s okay. He does get that if I say dinner with the “girls” will last only a few hours, to expect me to be home in five. He also will never tell me to pick a different outfit, so I need these people hard.
The four of us have laughed, cried, and unapologetically picked each other off the ground a few times. The moments of togetherness are not always great, but together nonetheless. There is no guard to let down, because the guard isn’t there in the first place. We fit. We have traveled together, been stuck in hotel rooms for weeks, and dorm rooms for summer camps, spending that much time together and still have something to talk about on the way home.
Real friends will offer the honest truth, and it may sting but it is never brutal because it is never meant to hurt. We come to each other for advice, knowing that it may not be what we want to hear.
In times of grief, their silence while sitting next to us is enough. We have been through the loss of three parents in our days, and more loved ones than we can count. We allow for the mental and physical breakdown and become a soft thing to land on when we hit the ground.
In times of bliss, we all feel it together, as one. Their happiness makes me happy and vice versa. We make the best toasts at weddings, scream the loudest at graduations, and carry crap up and down apartment stairs for every move. Being a good friend is the strongest support system in the world.
We have watched each other become wives, mothers, and doctors, and have felt the utter joy and happiness of life beyond each other and our friendships, the full circle.
There may be times when we do not talk for a month or see each other for a few more. We have lived states away for years at a time. We have slipped into changing jobs and volunteering at school and life has done us in. That’s okay too because NO MATTER WHAT, we are always there in spirit and a phone call or text away. The context changes but the subject never does. We are best friends for life.
Every year in August, we celebrate National Friendship Day. I honor the friends that have made me who I am, who have stuck their noses out for me and let me write so admirably about them. I can only hope that they know how much I love them as well. I will dutifully stand next to them at their weddings, change their babies’ diapers, and crack enough jokes to make them smile when they need it most. We are each other’s soulmates.