Do you have a best friend? If you had a person pop into your brain when you heard that phrase, consider yourself lucky. How about this: do you have an ongoing group text with your friend group? Again, consider yourself one of the lucky ones.
Up until high school, I had someone pop into my brain when I thought about my “best friend”. But I always had an anxiety-ridden question come to mind: Do they think I’m their best friend?
I’ve always considered myself a social butterfly… never fully identifying with one friend group. Maybe that’s due to my people-pleasing attitude. I wanted to blend in and stand out at the same time. But I always had one person I could rely on and who I considered my go-to confidant. But at the same time, that person changed occasionally as I got older, depending on the season of life I was in. I never had one solid friend group, one solid “person” I’d turn to in times of struggle or joy. I had lots of friends and various groups of people who I liked to be around, but no one solid foundation of friends.
When I got married, my bachelorette party was a hodgepodge of friends who I connected with over the years. I love them all equally and differently, but no one person was my best friend. When I became a mom, it became even more evident: I don’t have a best friend. I’m a lot of people’s friend, but no one’s best friend.
I always question myself and my decisions. In the past, I’ve been known to adapt myself to who I’m associating with (hence the people-pleasing). Perhaps that’s why I’ve never had that one person who is my “person”. But I so desperately want it! I want to be a part of the group text. I crave a connection on the deepest friend level where I know I can be my 100% authentic self and vice versa. I want to be someone’s go-to gal for every celebration, every downfall, and everything in between. I want to be the first person that pops into their brain when they think of their best friend.
I know some will scoff at this, but if I think of who my best friend is now I’ll tell you it’s my husband. He’s the one I can be unequivocally myself with. The one who won’t judge me for being me. The one who knows all the ins and outs of me. The one who is my constant. But as much as I love my relationship with my husband, I often crave the friendship of girlfriends (or even just one girlfriend) that so many have.
I recently listened to one of my favorite people (Liz Wolfe) and her new podcast. In episode three, she discusses the topic of friendship. She had me deep in my feelings as she discussed what she’s learned about friends and relationships throughout adulthood. Some things that stuck out to me were that you have to be open-hearted, know yourself well, understand that all friends aren’t for the long haul, set boundaries, and make authentic connections. These are all areas I need to continue to work on, inwardly and outwardly.
It’s hard for me to put myself out there, to flex that friendship muscle, to let go of the image of “mean girl” friendships and to be the friend I want for myself. And I often have the thought, “Is it too late for me?” My insecurities take control. But I want to put in the work. I still have hope. I hope to one day find my “person”. I hope to one day stumble upon the gal that I’ll want to call to cheer about my daily mom wins and cry about seemingly insignificant or extreme struggles. I hope to be the one someone turns to for the same highs and lows. I’m a lot of people’s friend, but I want to be someone’s best friend.