I know that teen angst-driven shows on television perpetuate the concept of best friends forever (BFFs). Does that exist anymore? We may wonder whether Serena and Blair stay friends, Buffy and Willow, or Rachel and Monica after the cameras have turned off. Another point to ponder nowadays is whether friendships can stay strong for years and decades on end when we no longer stay put in one place. Amazingly, I know many New Yorkers from my childhood who are in New York. However, there are many of my friends from throughout my years that have moved a minimum of four times since we met. Social media is supposed to help people stay in touch. Sure enough I have been able to find friends from junior high school that I believed were forever lost. I have had BFFs in each segment of my life, but have oftentimes found that they have been more like best friends in the moment rather than forever. That has been in part due to my nomadic way of being.
I had a best friend many years back that was smart as a pistol (if someone can explain to me that phrase I would greatly appreciate it). We were going to apply to private schools together and leave the South Bronx together. We both got into the same school. I got to go and she ended up in the foster care system. We reconnected, through Facebook, a week before my mother died. What an odd cosmic turn of events.
I used to hang out with a group of friends in junior high school and we were inseparable. Now through Facebook I am connected to three of the group’s members I was less connected to; while the other two I had really bonded with (with whom I had held sleepovers and such) growing up have completely disappeared from my life. The twists and turns of friendships are quite like an American Soap Opera at times.
What is it that bonds us these days and what keeps us bonded? How does one maintain a friendship when work is all consuming? I had a good friend that used to live about 6 blocks away from me in New York City. However, because both of us were power women, we barely saw each other. We had to make special efforts where we booked months in advance a lunch or dinner with each other. Then there is the working discordant friendship where one individual is a working mom and the other is a stay-at-home mom. In such a case the former commonalities may not be as strong as the new points that are not in common. When you have friends that work on Wall Street and friends that work in non-profits it may seem like the friendship worlds collide. Yet, there is still a thread of common humanity that courses through our beings and into our friendships.
Regardless of the space and time continuum, although we are not necessarily all still BFFs, we are still friends. When we finally get a chance to see each other it is as if we hadn’t been apart all this time. A friendship need not be exemplified by an everyday act. A friendship need not be demonstrated by a continuous conversation. A friendship is not bounded by geography. It is what lies in the heart that tugs you to each other.
Now that I have a son I have a new best friend in my life. When I am overwhelmed by work, he sits me down and tells me to just ignore work. When I am tired, he notes that I should just go to sleep. When I don’t want to deal with the masses, he tells me I should just play with him. His advice is pure and honest. He gets me. I get him. I protect him. He protects me. When I look into his eyes I see me. That is what a best friend is about. We have a part of each other in our respective beings and consciousness.
Inspired by the daily prompt of: something so strong