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  • In 1st grade, my best friend was the girl who lent me her crayons. We looked to each other when we were walking 2 by 2 in the hallway and walked to our buses hand in hand. Sleepovers were common and fights were not.

    In 3rd grade, she was in a different class and I didn't see her as much. Although we were still young, we both started to notice the rift that was forming between us. We were no longer each other’s lunch dates and it hurt a little. We still talked, though, and it was a pleasant surprise when we were on the same kickball team in gym.

    In 6th grade, my best friend was the girl that was dating my first real crush. I was her confidant and therefore had to feign happiness about the situation. We would sit in her room and talk about him and all the while; I would hold back my jealousy—and my rage—because she was my only connection to him. When their relationship hit rocky terrain, like young love often does, I reveled in it because for some reason, I felt like I had a chance. I laughed more uproariously at his jokes but assumed despair when I was with her because that’s what best friends do. My loyalty to either party never seemed to pay off, though. I didn't get the guy and by the time middle school rolled around, my friendship with her just…disintegrated

    In 7th grade, all the friends that I had accumulated over the six years of elementary school had cut their ties with me and it killed me. What was 12 year old I supposed to do when I had no one by my side in this new and strange world. In 8th grade, however, I reunited with one of my closest friends from 4th grade. We sat next to each other in math and we picked up right where we had left off. We were both so different but still enjoyed old jokes. When I started high school, I was content because I had what I thought was a true friend. Her locker was just down the hall from mine and became our usual meeting place between classes. We ate lunch together and hung out on weekends and I felt like life was alright

    The feeling did not last long. Making friends was the easy part; keeping them required a certain skill, which I had yet to attain. I felt like I had no one and I began to lose sight of what friendship was. All my “friends” didn't know me at all; what music I liked, what my favorite movies were or that I was going through an internal struggle because I didn't have the guts to talk to the cute guy in my civics class. Just like 6th grade, I was just the confidant who had to stand on the sidelines and not speak unless spoken to. I started to seriously wonder if there was something wrong with me.

    In 11th grade, my best friends were my guitar and all my favorite comedians and TV show characters and my mom and my sister. While everyone was busy going to prom and being “rebellious”, I was in my room wondering why I had allowed shitty people and relationships to keep me away from doing things that made me happy like listening to great music and watching movies and writing terrible jokes. My passion for comedy had been previously been overshadowed by a need to have other people like me. All my life, I yearned for a best friend; someone to comfort me and swoon over boys with me and just be there and in doing so had lost sight of myself. It took 11 years for me to realize that the special connection that I sought would come in time, but at that moment I had to be content with being my own best friend. So far, it’s paying off.
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