We spend our childhood in search of the elusive best friend. A best friend isn’t really just a friend but more like a sister you choose to have because you think alike, share the same hobbies and above all are never mean to one another. It’s the person you run to when there’s someone bullying you in school or you run to with glee when the most wonderful thing has just happened to you. A best friend jumps for joy when you get an A, get the ball in the net, get the birthday present you’ve been waiting for, and is by your side with joy when that boy you like smiles back at you. A best friend never lets you down, is never jealous of your accomplishments but is boosted by them herself.
While a child, you learn from your grandparents who tell you that kindness done to others will be returned. We spend our childhood reading about the good deeds of Jo in Little Women, or the selfless act of giving and receiving practiced by Della and Jim in O’Henry’s classic, The Gift of the Magi. We are raised that the gift of giving is better than receiving. So, you transfer that into giving love and support to a best friend. A childhood friendship is about sharing the gifts of life and being happy with what each other have.
For a few glorious days, weeks or months little girls cling on to their best friends like lovers to each other in those first six months of love. Everything is perfect, your best friend can do no wrong, she is there when you first get to school, plays with you at playtime, and the last person to say goodbye to you at the end of the day. If you’re lucky, she gets to come to play at your house one day after school. Nothing could be more perfect!
Or that’s what you grow up thinking when you’re a child. It never enters in your innocent mind that one day your best friend won’t like you anymore. It never enters your mind that one day you’re no longer her best friend but just a friend. And one day you’re no longer just a friend but you are nothing. The thought of being nothing to your best friend is simply impossible to fathom.
Of course it does happen, quite often, but it doesn’t necessarily spell the end. As we grow up, our exposure to different things in life make us change. That one trip you took with an aunty and learned that horrible oyster was actually really great and changed you from an oyster hater to a lover of all shellfish. Or that history project about artists of the 20th century that turned you not into a lover of Monet or Renoir but a lover of that surrealist artist from Spain, Dali? These subtle changes of admiration for food once hated or strange artists find you delving into all things seafood or Surreal. Not just your taste buds have changed but so does your mind. You’re no longer happy talking about Duran, Duran or eating a chicken menu at KFC but now want to go to the fish market and eat sushi fresh from the sea and you want to checkout Nirvana and what was going on in Kurt Cobain’s head when he wrote those words? You’ve become a complete alien to your best friend who still likes pretty art, pretty clothes, and pretty pop music. The friendship is changing. Not due to a horrible fight but due to both your minds going in a different direction. This kind of change is subtle, yes sad, but so slow that the two of you go your separate ways effortlessly but always remain friends. This friend you know will always be there for you. She may think you’ve gone all avant garde on her and stoner chick but she knows who you are deep down inside, the core you and despite the new clothes you’re wearing and the new ideologies you spout, she knows who you are and still loves you forever.