Saying Goodbye To Five Of My Favorite People
" A friend is one to whom one may pour out all the contents of one's heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away."
- Arabian Proverb
I met five of the most influential people in my life before I hit middle school. Five people that changed my life. Five people that I have had the most amazing adventures with and wouldn’t trade for the world. My best friends. And the five people I need to say goodbye to.
I don’t think I could even begin to describe how much these five girls have shaped who I am today. They have been there since the beginning and one’s who will be there til the end. And, as we begin to depart to start new chapter’s of our lives in new towns and cities with hope and dreams set in our sights, I begin to feel the sadness of leaving my best friends sink into my heart. I know that it’s not a permanent leave and that we’ll see each other at Christmas but knowing that soon enough, we’ll all be leaving for real, breaks my heart little by little. So, I need to say goodbye to five of my favorite people.
My oldest, and dearest, friend. When asked how long Nicole and I have been friends both of our answers are always: birth. Our parents were friends before we were born and so we were introduced to each other at a very early age. I like to think that we were meant to become friends. Our family scrapbooks are filled with pictures of Nicole and I smiling brightly, clutching juice boxes, finger painting, or playing with out respective barbies. Don’t let the pictures fool you though! We fought like sisters. Everyday there would be an argument. Nicole was bossy. But whether it was hitting me in the face with keys, stealing my barbie, or peeing on my cookies, at the end of the day we were still friends. We were always friends. Nothing could get between us. The fighting was so common though, that we actually remember the first day we didn’t have a fight. We were in Nicole’s room, playing Lil’ Bratz. It was a monumentous day. Everyday with Nicole was an adventure. We had fun no matter what we did whether it was dancing to the end song on 102 Dalmations, adopting the neighbors litter of kittens, or creating an entire make believe story out of the Tarzan soundtrack. As we got older and got into different things we still seemed to find our way back to each other even after long absences. Instead of playing Bratz we now giggled about boys and moaned about history assignments. But one thing was always constant: she was my best friend. No matter how many new friends we made or how often we didn’t see each other, we were still best friends. We still laughed and joked about the same things and we still knew how to talk to each other. We still knew each other. And now, as she goes off to Texas ATM to major in business, I know that we will still know each other when we get back. She is and always will be my oldest, and dearest, friend.
Pre-school besties. Everyone always seems surprised when I say that I’ve known Meredith since pre-school. I don’t know if it’s the fact that we kind of ran in different groups in high school while still keeping mutual friends but we’ve known each other for forever. We were the original two of our group to join Girl Scouts first. Just mere Daisy’s as we looked at the older girls in awe and planned for when we would be that old too. We not only joined girl scouts together but tumbling and cheerleading and gymnastics. I never would have gotten into any of that if Meredith hadn’t of done it with me. Having a familiar face at every practice helped little, shy, me feel better about joining. However, after doing each class I ended up quitting because it wasn’t for me while Meredith continued to cheer all through high school. During Girl Scouts we went on countless trips together with the rest of our troop. We’ve spent the night at the zoo, the Riverside Nature Center, NASA, and even Seaworld. We went ice skating, had countless shopping trips, and even had a fashion show at Limited Too (back when that was actually a cool store to go to). As we grew up, girl scouts became fairly limited and we didn’t participate as much as we could have. Instead of big, far-fetched trips, we went out to eat every month or so and that was about it. However, even as we grew older, our mutual love for Nancy Drew never ceased and we continued to talk about the much anticipated games and even still played together every so often. It’s one of the things we’ve continually bonded over. As high school came into the picture we saw each other at random times. I joined soccer while she did cheerleading and track. I was in German club and she was in Spanish club. It was always just the opposite of the other. We were lucky to have lunch together most years and we caught up in the twenty-five minute period. We continued to be friends, even through seperation, and as she goes off to Baylor to study psychology I’ll always remember our sleepovers and our days sat in front of a computer, trying to figure out Nancy’s latest mystery while we chewed on cheese sticks.
Katie and I did not become friends the minute we met. I actually think it took a while until we we’re put in the same homeroom in third grade and then soon enough we were sharing our first boyfriend on the playground. We shouted for joy as our friend Valerie ran up to us and told us the news. He said yes! To both of us. I don’t really know what we we’re expecting to happen but we we’re only third graders. Katie is literally the best friend all girls want to have. Her extensive knowledge on boys and fashion was incredible at such a young age and only improved as we grew older. If I ever had any concerns on a boy I liked or an outfit I was wearing, I talked to her. She was the fastest maturing out of all of us and the most knowledgeable when it came to boys. Once, when we we’re all playing and eating at McDonalds, we looked on amazed, as Katie sat with the adults and ate a salad instead of chicken mcnuggets like the rest of us. It was mind-blowing for us how mature she could be. How grown up she had already become. She had the first serious relationship out of all of us and even in fifth grade we thought her and her boyfriend were going to get married. But fifth grade came and went, as did other boys, and I was there for each of them. Katie was my closest friend from third grade to high school. We told each other everything. As in, we read each other’s diaries! We knew absolutely everything about each other. Katie was actually the one that made me realize I wanted to be a writer. Her and my seventh grade English teacher. In eighth grade we decided that we wanted to write a book together and to this day I still have everything we wrote. It was the beginning of my writing career and I don’t think I’ve ever really thanked her for getting me started and coaxing me out of my shell. She not only helped me do that in a writing sense but she also made me a better person. She brought out my personality that I normally hid and showed me that I don’t always have to be shy. She helped shape who I am today. And as she heads to Sam Houston State to study music therapy, I remember all our secret gossip sessions, our angry fights, and our filmed lip-synching videos, and I know she’ll always be the Cassidy to my Lilly.
Honestly, I don’t really know when Rian and I became friends. Nicole was our mutual friend so we always knew about each other and then eventually became friends. We didn’t attend the same elementary school but her, Nicole, and I were put on the same soccer team. We were always around each other and it just made sense for us to be friends and I am so happy we did because she is one of the most constant things in my life. It’s as if nothing between us has ever changed, in a good way. No matter what, we’ve always been the same kind of friends we’ve always been unlike a lot of my other friends where things have changed and there were riffs but with her it was never like that. Rian has known what she wants to do and the person she is from a very early age and I’ve always admired her for that. She’s also one of the toughest people I’ve ever met. We’ve been playing soccer together ever since we we’re little and even when she wasn’t playing she was my father’s assistant coach. She thought she could tell me what to do, but she totally couldn’t. She was vice president of German club while I was president and together we worked to better the organization that was dear to both of us. Both being avid readers we constantly had book suggestions for each other and she always lent an ear when I needed to rant about something in Algebra our freshman year. She was the one that punched the worst boy to ever come into my life and made my tears turn to laughter. She is fearless and strong and an incredible person. We’ve been friends for so long and as she goes off to Texas ATM Galveston to study marine biology, I know that she’ll always be a constant presence in my life and someone I can always count on.
I met Claire in fifth grade. We bonded over taking the staples out of the boards in the hallway. She was an unlikely friend that I didn’t expect to have such a big impact on my life. Paired with our other friend Brianna, we were the three amigos. We would play on the playground at our elementary school, have sleepovers at Brianna’s house, and share our littlest pet shop toys. Brianna fluctuated in and out of our lives but Claire and I always stuck together and we stayed friends all through our schooling. Claire is arguably the funniest person I have ever met. She has a knack for making just about anyone laugh, including me. Her sense of humor and uncanny wit shapes her personality and contributed to her “class clown” title in the yearbook our senior year of high school. She’s had it since the day I met her. However, that’s not all that Claire is. She’s so much more than what people have labeled her and I’ve been fortunate enough to see all sides of one of my best friends. As we grew up, our conversations changed from littlest pet shop nonsense to analyzing our interactions with people and discussing different philosophies. She broadened my view of the world and constantly bettered my knowledge while always providing a laugh. Of course, we had our ups and downs as we began to grow up and change our views on different things. There were times when our friendship was strained because emotional turmoil took a hold of us and just wouldn’t let go, but we always came out stronger. We came out better friends than before and that is something I have always admired about our friendship. And, as she leaves for American University all the way in Washington D.C. to study law and society I look back fondly on our memories of going exploring in her huge backyard, our lunches that ended after two hours of constant conversation, and her birthday parties that were always the most fun I ever had. She will always be the one who can make me laugh the loudest.
I love you guys so much and I’m going to miss each of you so so much.