Published on Friday, April 11, 2014 by Erin Garcia
‘Friend.’ A common concept that people recognize all around the world. A word that can be sincere, or just routinely spoken, a word that can hold meaning, or be completely hollow inside, a word that I had placed on so many people without truly knowing what it stood for, but now all that it stands for couldn’t be any clearer. The person who holds this prestigious title not only has the word ‘friend’ by her name, but ‘best’ in front of it.
To me, a ‘friend’ meant someone I’d smile to as we passed one another in the hallway, and we’d crack jokes every now and then at the lunch table. Someone I’d call and ask if there was any homework due the next day, and who I’d text because nothing else seemed to interest me. Someone I could be myself around, but yet have to hide who I really was. Even though this person was my ‘friend’ that met all these requirements, I felt scared of being judged if I let them see deeper than the fake smile upon my face. But this is no ‘friend,’ right? There has to be more than this, though I never thought it to be true. That is, until I met my true best friend.
There aren’t too many people out there that can honestly say a friend of theirs has truly impacted their life, so I guess I’m fairly lucky to be one of the few that can. In more ways than one, has she made a difference in this lonely life I had been living.
I met her as a sixteen year old girl who thought all we shared in common was a last name. I don’t quite remember how our introductions and the ‘let’s-break-the-ice’ conversation began, but I am beyond grateful that it did happen. Who would’ve thought that we’d have more similarities than the last name ‘Garcia?’ I sure didn’t.
Having her in my life has changed me as a person, as dramatic as that sounds. She’s showed me that honest, caring people really do exist, and what true strength is time and time again. She’s helped me feel my highest when moments before I had fallen to my lowest. She’s given more meaning to the word “friendship’ than anyone ever has, and eventually has become a sister who I’ve never really gotten to have. My list could go on-and-on, but most importantly, she’s shone a light on what I had always thought to be a cold, dark world, and has made me feel less alone in it.
No matter what kinds of relationships people are lucky enough to have in this world, I think when we find someone we can be wholeheartedly ourselves with, the simple things become much more special. The rain falling seems more refreshing. The sun shining seems much warmer. Conversations in school hallways become more sacred. Text messages become more than the average, ‘hey, what’s up?.’ Hugs tend to be held much longer. And life turns out to be much more worth living.
I know that our friendship isn’t just some friendship that will only last during high school and we tear off our matching BFF bracelets later. It’s so much greater. So tell me, what does the word ‘friend,’ mean to you? I ask not because I still don’t know- but because I finally know the answer. I have found a forever friendship, and forever has no end.