Beyond The Pages #2 — Best Friends Forever…Until They’re Not

(In case you missed my intro to what Beyond the Pages is, since it’s so new, I’ll keep it on here for awhile)

I’m a pretty open person and I’ve certainly shared a lot about my life here on the blog and elsewhere on Twitter but I’ve put off this idea I’ve had for a while because it scares me. What idea you ask? Well, it’s nothing huge but, as I read, I often want to have conversations with people because books make me think, they bring up things from my past that I want to reflect upon and they really just connect us. Some of my best conversations have happened privately because of books and talking about our shared experiences. Sometimes I’ve thrown in a few sentences in a review but I feel like I don’t want to make my review becomes this huge paragraph of my personal life. But I SO want to give myself the opportunity to share a bit of myself with you (things from my past, random musings, things I’m facing now) when these things come up in books and maybe perhaps learn a little bit about you if you’ll allow? So that’s just what my Beyond the Pages segment is going to be — random things from books that I connected with and want to share. Nothing fancypants. I’ll admit I’m scared though to talk about some of these things that I know I’m going to talk about which could range from my greatest fears, how I was in college, losing my mom or maybe we’ll swap dating stories and the craziest thing I ever did.

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This one is not going to be NEARLY as serious and MEANING OF LIFE as my first Beyond the Pages post but it was something I was thinking about during my latest read.

 

The book that inspired this conversation:

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Friendship is really the main focus of this book. These 4 girls have been besties at summer camp since they year they met when they were 10. They are now 17 and haven’t seen each other in 3 years since their last year of summer camp and in those years their friendships have really changed as they get older and go in different directions — for many reasons. When they come to their weekend camp reunion they all know it isn’t going to be like it always was because of how their friendship seems to fit differently but nobody really wants to admit it or address it.

It got me thinking a lot about friendship. It’s something that I’ve really struggled with in my life — especially RIGHT NOW . I’ve always had a lot of FRIENDS (mostly guys tbh) and acquaintances.  I’ve struggled to FIND the bff-ness that so many other people have, to keep it when we start to grow apart, to know when to let it go when it needs to. I struggle now, as a 27 year old married lady, because I feel like I have no close friends around here anymore. We all are in such different places in our lives and have grown out of the friendships in some case. And it’s so damn hard to let all that HISTORY go.

Let’s chronicle my friendships ok? I’m talking about BFF-type friends.

Childhood: Had my best friend Missy. Played at her house nearly every day.
Middle School (6-7th grade): Dropped elementary friends because we were just changing.
8th grade – 9th grade: MOVED 4 hours away so basically NO FRIENDS in the begining. A girl in the neighborhood & I became friends mid way through the year and became quick BFFS. We seriously were so close. When I think of best friends I think of her. Nobody ever understood me the way she did, I never laughed as hard as I did with her, we had the most fun EVER, a zillion inside jokes and she was honestly the person who had my back.
High School: 10th grade our BFFness was still in tact but 11th grade and 12th were a STRUGGLE. I was making new friends and so was she and there were DEFINITE cracks and a lot of not nice things said as we slowly started to express this AWKWARD feeling of our lack of bffness. Ended up just really fading away…
College: Those friends (mostly a group of guys and like 2 girls) that I referenced above? Well, the one other girl of the group (we had been FRIENDS since late middle school but not besties) and I decided to be roomies in college because we had been SOOO close and agreed that we were in fact BEST FRIENDS. We were that way until our junior year when our other roommate and her got in a huge fight putting me in the middle. Just the beginning of our demise.
2008-2010: Still remained close with our group of friends but there was a huge strain between the bff and I that neither one of us addressed. A lot of things I heard said about me. Awkward attempts to try and pretend all is well.
2011 -2012: No Friends? Well, that’s not true. I got really close with a few girls through blogging when I started in 2010 and I don’t know what I would have done without these ladies during all the wedding planning and lack of bffness locally. REALLY CRAZY BAD TENSION between bff and the group of friends. BAD BAD BAD.
2013: The year I let go of this VERY long bff-ship because I knew it was better for me to let go — probably better for her too to stop pretending & making awkward attempts to fix. There has been so much that has gone on that I could never explain in this post but I just don’t think a fix is going to happen.

Writing all that out just makes me have such nostalgia. THERE ARE SO MANY GOOD MEMORIES. There are so many things I don’t understand about how people who know the deepest depths of each other’s souls can walk away from each other. I think of my college BFF and she was with me through everything with my mom being sick and when she passed and I just never thought anything could ever get between us. Ever. I just keep thinking “Where did it go wrong?” “Could I have fixed it?” I know that I had faults as a friend and that there were things that I contributed to but I just could have never fathomed not having my best friend that had been with me through good and bad from late middle school and our mid twenties. I also think maybe I didn’t try enough. I saw it happening and I let it. I could have addressed it and stop trying to pretend we could go back after certain things. I didn’t. We probably could have moved forward.

I think the biggest things I think about friendship right now are:

1. As I’ve gotten older it’s really hard for me to make friends. I can talk to anybody and be a friend but I’m talking about REALLY REALLY close friends but it is really hard for me to find that these days. The ease of making friends that I had when I was younger is not there. It’s part that at my age we are all in SO MANY DIFFERENT PLACES — married, with kids, married to their career, single, etc.  Plus, where do I meet them?? March around with a “bff wanted” sign? I’m out of practice I think. I also think after so many years of rough patches with friends and trust issues…I’m afraid. I know I am. I show it in the friendships I’m currently cultivating. I’m an open person but I get skiddish and back off sometimes because of the past.

2. That BFF-shaped hole in my heart aches sometimes: It’s true. There is nothing like having a best friend. There isn’t. I have a ton of VERY close friends right now that I LOVE like crazy but it’s different than your BEST FRIEND.  That person that acknowledges that you are their best friend. You know you can call them crying at 4am for a dumb reason, that they will go on random adventures with you, they will get your dumb jokes, that they will always try to cheer you up, call you out lovingly when you are wrong, finish your sentences, can read you like a book and know what is wrong with you before you do etc. There is no tip-toeing or second guessing with them. It’s just hard to explain…but if you’ve had a BEST FRIEND you know. I mean, yes, Will is my best friend but I need a lady sometimes.

3. It’s funny, though, throughout all of this I’ve realized my sister has always been my best friend: My sister and I were SOOO close when we were younger. It was just the two of us. We went through a reallyyy rough time during end of high school and college. That timing? When my mom got sick with cancer, passed away and then the aftermath. We’ve been through a lot. We screamed at each other and called each other the worst names in the world but the funny thing is that even in the times of “hate” if somebody wronged one of us our protective side came out and we always had each others back. We became best friends again the day she called me and told me she was pregnant with Genevieve. For the first time in a long time, I was the first to know something about her life. Every since that day we have been closer than we have ever been before. I call her when I need to cry, to vent, to admit something really stupid. I can be myself 100% and she knows the WORST things of me and the same with her and I never feel judged. There are very few relationships I’ve felt that kind of closeness with and I am so thankful we were able to salvage it. I’m extra thankful that I have my sister has my best friend and I hate that for so long I didn’t care about cultivating that.

This was really rambly, I know. But friendship is important and I’ve been thinking about it so much — the loss of it, the definition of it, the beginning stages of it, how to fix it when it’s broken, how to BE a better friend because I’ve been failing and how to open up again. It’s hard. It really is. As much of what I love to read features romances, I crave more friendship books because it’s so important to who we are. I was the girl who wasn’t friends with girls and I regret that. I valued guys more than I did my friends. I didn’t know how to handle friendships when things changed. I didn’t always know how to be a friend. But I do know now how much I really need REAL, close friends and how I miss it so much.

 

Tell me about your friendships! Do you have a bff? Have you experienced a “breakup” with a bff? Is it hard for you to make friends as you’ve gotten older? How do you deal with things when friendships start to change? What books do you love  that portray friendship? Let’s talk friendship!!

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.

Comments

  1. I’ve had quite a few close friends over the years, but as far as BFFs go…I really do have one that lives up to the “forever.”

    I grew up in a small town and had the same best friend through elementary school, jr. high and HS…and she is actually still my best friend today. She is an army wife, so I don’t see her that often, but we talk a lot. When we’re both in town visiting our parents during holidays, I still go over to her house to see her family…and we have a long standing tradition of having a game night whenever I’m there!

    During a hard time I had going a few years ago, I was staying with my parents for a few months and even though my BFF (Rachelle) wasn’t in town, I still went over to hang out with her family – we watched 24 together every week on TV! And right after the series finale, I arranged it so that we called Rachelle on Skype and it was how she told her parents she was pregnant with her first child.

    Sigh, good times. (I rambled, but whenever I sit down and start thinking about friendship, I always feel incredibly lucky!)

    • That is AWESOME. I love hearing about people that have longstanding BFFS. Makes me jealous but ultimately happy for people!! LOVE that you are close with her fam too!

  2. So, I follow your blog and read your reviews often and never really comment — I’m guilty of reading posts on my phone and never coming back to give feedback on them — but I saw this particular post today and it just really resonated with me because I’m pretty much in the same boat. All three of the points you made up there are so, SO me right now. I just want you to know you’re not alone. And when I saw you’d also let go of a “BFF” this year, it made me feel like I was less alone too. I totally know what it’s like to have a BFF breakup because I went through one about 2 months ago when I finally allowed myself to realize that it was time to let go. It was incredibly painful to do that after 10 years of being ‘best friends’ — as in driving home from work, crying my face off, why are all these breakup songs playing on shuffle all of a sudden???? — but I think it was even more painful to realize that letting her go meant I would have no girl-bff at all. I am extremely happily married and my husband is my best friend ever in the world, but there’s always going to be that empty place in my heart anyway. It took a lot of time for me to realize that I deserve a true friend, and a true friendship, and not just one where I do all the work. And I guess what I’m trying to say is, I hope you know you’re not alone, either. Thanks for such posting something so close to your heart. (Err, and sorry if this comment strikes you as crazy or creepy when I’ve hardly ever commented here before! I just had to speak!)

    • Thank you so much for taking the plunge and commenting!! 🙂 Makes me happy that it was one of these posts because they mean a lot to me!!

      That’s so crazy that we’ve both had a “breakup” with a bff this year! BUT YAY FOR US! Hard but I already see the good in it since January. It was really hard those first months. I was friends with mine for about the same time as you and it’s just SO MUCH HISTORY. They just GET you and then to think of new friendship is scary because they don’t know the little things about you!

      And we totally deserve a good friend! <33

  3. Melissa @ Writer Grrl Reads says:

    Such a beautiful post! I’ve definitely gone through similar experiences, and I think it’s just part of the friendship experience. When I first moved to Vancouver, I didn’t know anyone and met this girl who was also new to town. We were inseperable for three years until I got engaged, and then all of a sudden it just seemed like our lives were on different paths. She wanted to do all the single girl things, and was resentful of the fact that I had found someone. It eventually drove a wedge between us (among other things, including me getting her a job at my office — bad, bad, BAD idea in hindsight!). I was sad about the end of our friendship at the beginning, but then realized that I was a really different person than I had been when I’d first moved to town and, although it sounds kind of bad, I’d just outgrown her. Once I realized that, it was easier to accept that our lives were just on two separate paths.

    So, long story short, I totally understand where you’re coming from. And you’re right too: it is SO HARD to find BFFs!!! I like your idea of a sign 🙂

    • UGH so hard when you are friends with someone and then you end up at different crossroads. Hard to navigate. I have on friend who is still younger and not married and sometimes she doesn’t get that calling me an hour before dinner time to have dinner with her isn’t going to happen….I’m like Will and I already have dinner planned! lol I think though, in general, we’ve learned to be at our different spots in life and be ok and adjust for each other.

      I think it’s ok to outgrow people…that’s honestly how I feel about this group I dropped. It had been a long time coming.

      We need someone to design us our official BFF WANTED sign!

  4. Jamie, holy crap. Your posts never cease to amaze me. You put so much HEART into every personal post and I JUST FEEL YOU. You are seriously so brave for posting this. And, I don’t think I’m going to share MY personal story, but I can definitely relate. At a younger age, everyone’s happy-go-lucky and it’s just so much easier to make friends. As people get older, people go separate ways and different paths, and I understand that it’s harder to make good friends at this age. LOL at the “bff wanted” sign. But to relate it to a book that portrays, I LITERALLY just finished How I Lost You by Janet Gurtler, and I thought it dealt with friendship in a really good, literate way. Beautiful post, Jamie! Best wishes to you.

    • <33 Thanks Jen! I am so happy I decided to trust my readers and go through with my idea for these posts!

      It really IS so much easier to make friends when you are younger -- it's like OMG YOU LIKE BARBIES?? ME TOO! hahah. And then you slowly get more interests and grow apart and then there are so many factors...after college just becomes cray!

      I am definitely adding How I Lost You so thank you!!

  5. When I read this post I needed to comment because our lives are very parallel and basically everything you described is me. I was just thinking about this topic today actually because I live so far away from my best friends that I feel like I don’t have any friends around, and it gets hard and lonely sometimes. I just don’t know how people our age go about making new friends. Sure I have colleagues at work who I hang out with, but like you sometimes I yearn for a BFF someone to go shopping with, talk about everything and just be around. I guess also like you I have leaned on my two sisters in the absence of truly close friends. I’m really glad to know that I am not the only one who feels this way. Thanks for posting this it made my day a little bit better. Maybe I will work up the courage to put myself out there more socially, and open myself up to new friendships in the near future.

    • It really does get lonely when friends aren’t nearby! I have SUCH amazing blogging friends and I’m like WHY CAN THEY NOT LIVE HERE SO I CAN HAVE FRIENDS!! lol. It really is hard to go about making friends. Like at my last job we just remained work friends…talked while we were there but rarely every hung out outside of work. It’s just so nice to have a bff you can count on for ALL OF THE THINGS.

      Hopefully we will be able to take risks and put ourselves out there this year and make new friendships! <3

  6. Oh my goodness, you had me tearing up reading this. It’s absolutely true what you say about friendship. It’s so hard to find true friends who will stick with you even when things are tough and situations change. It made me think of my own situation with friends over the years. I also had to end what was previously a really close friendship this year. It’s one of the hardest things to do. You’ve also just made me so thankful for the close relationships I do have. Thank you for such a heartfelt post!

    • It really is hard to let go! I am definitely making a better effort to cultivate the friendships I do have still! Maybe a new bff will emerge 🙂

      Thanks for commenting!!

  7. I understand you LOATHE when I tell you this and I get that, but really I relate to this so much. So many things happen in my life that I keep to myself because I feel like I’m the only one who has experiences it and yet here you are, writing for your heart and it’s like you saw my soul and got what I’ve been hiding.

    Toxic friendships are the worst and I’ve gotten rid of a few of them in the past few years. One friend and I became close again but it will never be what it was (which is maybe for the best) but that being said I’m very careful about friendships now. Mostly because friendships are a lot of work and if I can’t give that person my all I don’t want to toy with them. Thank you for writing these and always getting me thinking and getting me to leave you well thoughtful comments. It helps me bond to you (I’m weird. We both know this).

    • I think if my former bff and I resolve things it will, like you said, ever be quite the same. I think being a little more guarded is def natural I suppose. I hope so anyways because that is how I feel!

  8. I’m so glad I’m not alone in this! I often feel that pang when I think of friendships past and that feeling of having best girl friends. So much of what you said parallels how I feel. I was always better friends with guys and have a long-term boyfriend who’s definitely a best friend, but there’s something about having a close female friend. Just like you, I realize I have that with my sister though. It just gets hard to meet good friends the older we get and it sucks! There needs to be a friend-match website or something! haha

    • YES I like this idea of a friend-match website! It would be cool if you could like do it in groups like have a website where you can search interests and you could sign up so like 10 girls would all go on the activity together and then you can just kind of meet new people and expand your social circle!

  9. I truly love this post. It all rings so true and hits so close to home. I’ve had the BFF from my elementary days — we really were inseparable. Middle school hit and we went to different schools and really just grew apart. The friends I made in middle school lasted through high school and from that group were some of the best friends I’ve had. One of them in particular was my BFF. We were 13 when we met and were truly BEST friends. I love your description of the BFF-shaped hole and what that encompasses because that’s exactly what we were. It didn’t matter what time it was, it didn’t matter what you looked like, sounded like, complained about, or anything because they are THERE for you like no one else is. We were BFFs all the way through college and then I started grad school and moved 800 miles away. Considering I was in a long distance relationship with my boyfriend (now fiance), I never doubted I’d make a friendship work. But… we grew apart a little. She met someone new, got engaged, got married and moved. And I tried! She just became so busy all the time with her new life and school took over mine and… yeah. We still talk but it’s not like that BFF relationship, if that makes sense. We got each other before. We could laugh at the stupidest things and I never ever had to pretend anything around her. And… I can’t let go. We aren’t as close anymore but I want to think that we can still get back to BFF-ness. It’s not like we ever had a falling out, we just got busy… And it’s 12 (!) years. I just have to hold on to it.

    As far as making friends? I dropped myself into grad school in a new state not knowing a single soul. That was rough. I have friends… but like you said, no BFFs. And I have no idea how you get one. I mean, it’s not like I can write up a questionnaire and have people fill it out in my hunt for one because, uh.. creepy.

    So… I kind of just word vomited in my comment and I don’t know you, so I’m sorry if that was just “ahh too much!” But your post really hit me because I’m experiencing that exact same thing! I hate this BFF-hole and I miss it so, so terribly. So I had to respond. And then I couldn’t stop the words. =\

  10. I have learned (in my ripe old age of thirty ha ha) that you have friends for a reason, a season, or for a lifetime. I am pretty positive the only person I share EVERYTHING with is my husband. Trust me, once you think you have your friendships figured out, you have kids and it all changes again.

  11. Totally feel you. I struggle to make friends these days. I have two really really really good guy friends, and then my boyfriend, but I miss a good GF. At the same time I’ve been hurt a fair amount by “best friends” in the past so a part of me just wants to stick to the guys. But… I do miss that kind of friendship too.

  12. My best friend and I have been friends since I was ten years old. But funnily I think we became bffs when I was 12 and I used to call her all the time. Literally every single day up until I felt to come to Canada when I was 13. She just gets me and she’s the one friend that I speak to and can vent about things without having that feeling that I’m judged. She knows my life, and my struggles that I go through with my family relationships and she gets them. We live on opposite sides of the world, but our friendship is still strong. When I visited her in 2011 it was like I never left. I’ve been very fortunate that way to have someone who gets me completely.

    That being said, I think at the moment I’m struggling to keep my friendships from university afloat. It’s just that the past few months after moving back home have been difficult and I haven’t been the greatest at keeping in touch and I understand that they were busy during school too. But sometimes I do wonder if my friendships are going to make it or not. The people I met at University are amazing and they made the experience wonderful, but sometimes I can’t help but feel that there’s no effort to keep in touch. Friendship is a two way street after all. Like Coranne said people come into your life for a reason and a season and when their purpose is done they fade away. It’s really sad when I think about it, but I’ll never forget the memories we made.

    I do think that sometimes as you grow older it’s harder to make friends. I feel like ever since I moved home I don’t know how to socially interact with people lol because I’m just at home all the time. Hopefully that’ll change. Thanks for sharing your friendship stories Jamie!

  13. Hrmmm… thinking back all my friendships with “BFFs” all fell apart… and I’m wondering if it was because of me. I’ve only ever had 2 BFFs and they were only in primary school. Both friendships ended up in fights. We reconciled after but each friendship was never the same after those.

    I find it really hard to be friends with the people around me. Year 8 (8th grade) was hell and I got bullied by a girl for no apparent reason and nearly everybody I thought were my friends turned against me. I still don’t understand why that girl said the things she said – apparently it was my “attitude” but I wasn’t even close with her nor did I ever say anything about her.

    After that I picked my friends carefully and I can say that from highschool, out of the 200 of them I have on Facebook, I’m only “close” with 3 of them.

    I thought uni would be different and I’d make amazing friends but after 2 years I’m not so sure.

    I’m finding really amazing people amongst the book blogging community so I think I’m really lucky I stumbled upon these amazing people (:

  14. I’ve been thinking about friendship a lot lately. I just moved back to my hometown and I know pretty much no one here. I didn’t keep in touch with many people from high school and those I did keep in touch with aren’t here anymore. I’m hoping that once I get a part-time job and join a gym I’ll meet people, but it’s hard. I also think you’re right about people being in different places. I’m 28 but I’m no where near being ready for marriage or kids, but lots of people my age are.

    I also love reading books about friendship since that BFF thing is something I haven’t had since college, and I don’t think I ever really had it in elementary, middle, or high school. Falling out with my college BFF was so hard. But I go back and read the Facebook messages we sent each other towards the end of our friendship and I know I did the right thing by telling her we couldn’t be friends. I am very much in awe (and slightly jealous) of people who have maintained close friendships for long periods of time.

    Anyway, this was rambling. I think a lot of people feel the way that you do and the way that I do but it can be hard to admit, especially when you’re first meeting people.

  15. Wow I know exactly what you mean. I honestly haven’t had a best friend since 8th grade. I went to a small high school and there was no one I clicked with. I didn’t click with anyone in uni either. I think one of my biggest problems is that I’m a home body. I like to stay in, read, play games, and watch movies. How do you get out and meet people when you like to stay in? And when the people you would click with like to stay in too?

    My best friend now is definitely my boyfriend. But I think sometimes that BFF hole inside me aches too!

  16. I guess I’m lucky since I’ve had my best friend since grade 6. But there were definitely times when we weren’t always quite as close because other stuff got in the way. But as much as I love my best friend, sometimes I wish by best friend was a girl, because there are just some things that I find its trickier to talk about with him. And that’s how it had been for a long time. I think as we’ve both gotten older, we’re probably more open with that kind of stuff. And if that doesn’t work, I have my two roommates who have become quite close to being best friend material. Because when you live with someone for 4 years, there is very little they don’t know about you.

  17. Hey Jaime- I just want to say thanks so much for posting this. I’ve had very similar experiences in life, and over the years, yes my sister has become my best friend. The thing I want to say is don’t give up. You will meet more friends, but yes they come slower with age. But you treasure them more, and while many of them may not be bff’s. They will be there for you and with you for a lot. Again, thanks so much for posting this. My post college bff breakup was one of the most traumatic things I’ve ever been through. But I made it through, thanks to my amazing husband and maybe it’s all just part of being a human bean. At any rate, you were incredibly brave to share all this. And I admire you for it!

  18. Friendships can be so hard. I haven’t really ever had a big, dramatic “falling out” with a friend but I have had some pretty awkward relationship break-ups and cut-offs. Most of my high school friends and I drifted apart when we went to college. We’re still friendly and like each other, but it’s still sad because kinda like you, these girls saw me through the lowest point in my life & one of them skipped school to stay with me on the day of my mom’s funeral(which normally doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, but it was at the time, because it was a state testing day & we had to pass that exam to graduate because it was in the 11th grade. Texas gives you 3 chances to take it, so we were both able to take it in the Summer or in October, but it just meant she was basically on academic probation for a bit). None of us went to the same colleges, though we did all stay in the same state. I’ve made really close friends in college but none of them have been that BEST FRIEND relationship & I miss it. Especially as I’m graduating, I’m really afraid that my college friendships will all drift apart too.

  19. This really hit me. The best BFFs I’ve ever made were a couple of girls I marched trumpet with in college. I still keep in contact with one, and we visit each other maybe about once a year, but I moved from California to Massachusetts and feel like I really lost out on those girls, just because of the miles involved.

    One thing about being a musician, though, is that it’s really easy to make new friends through the groups you play with. Most of my friends these days are middle age to retirement age men, because they’re who I play with in my big band. I’m the only girl in the group, and the youngest member, but I get along great with the guys. My new BFFs are men, unmarried, ages 43 and 57 (I’m 30). My boyfriend is totally comfortable with me chillin’ at the bar with these guys, and I can count on them for anything, from changing the oil in my car to helping me move apartments. BFFs come in unexpected forms and at unexpected times. That said, I do feel a real need for a good girlfriend. I started to have one in a girl I played trumpet with here who was a reader, but then she had to go and move to Canada 🙁

    Awesome post! You definitely put words to something I’d been feeling for a long time.

  20. Great post, Jamie! I love reading about beautiful friendships in books because I treasure my friends (both real life and online blogging buddies). I’ve realized that friendships involved hard work and sometimes, people just drift apart and there’s nothing that you can do about it. This is something that I’ve experienced every time a new chapter of my life begins – high school to college to starting work to changing jobs to moving from Manila to Singapore. I’m thankful that I can still keep in touch with my friends in Manila through social networking sites and communication apps because I wouldn’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have that support system. I can definitely relate to not having a BFF even though I have several good friends.

    Some books that depict truly wonderful friendships: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, Jellicoe Road, Saving Francesca and The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta, Pegasus by Robin McKinley, Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

  21. I have two bff’s. One I’m closer to than the other, which I never thought I would be because we’re so different! But she calls me out on my bs and is there for me when I’m crying and having anxiety attacks. We’ve been friends for 5 years. Then there’s my other best friend, who I’ve been friends with since 6th grade. She moved away right before our senior year of high school. So I haven’t seen her for like four years :/ We don’t talk as much as we used to, ’cause of the distance and everything (and she’s gotten a bf since then). But it’s still that type of friendship, that we don’t know what we’d do without each other.

    It is harder for me to make friends now that I’m older. Mostly because I have social anxiety (and anxiety in general).. And the fact that I care way TOO much. So I tend to keep myself guarded in fear of getting hurt.

    The books that come to mind right away when talking about friendship is the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. It’s such a strong story of friendship and the last book made me cry. If you haven’t read the series, you have to check it out!

  22. This might sound ridiculous, but I didn’t think anyone else felt this way about friendship and having a BFF. I have someone I call my BFF, and overall, she is, but it’s kind of a strange friendship, and we aren’t BFFs the way we used to be (I know that probably makes no sense–long story short, we were BFFs throughout high school, lost touch for about 7 years, and are BFFs again, but the friendship is totally different now than it was in high school). Mostly, I just feel like I have a lot of close friends, but not a BFF, and it sucks.

    I love it that you talked about friendships in this post, and I love it that you brought up blogging friendships, because that’s something I would like to have, but it seems to me like it’s really difficult to make that actually happen. Beautiful post–thank you for sharing it with us!

  23. Hi Jamie. I’ve been a lurker of your blog for a while, and there have been a lot of posts I’ve related to. This is especially one of them. I have friends and associates, but my best friend is my sister. I can tell her anything, and we allow each other to vent and laugh at the seriousness of our lives. Making new friends that you can really be close to at this age is hard. I live in a college town, and most of the good friends I made in school have moved and reside in different parts of country, and phone calls and texts are not the same as being there. I consider myself lucky to have my sister.

  24. You know, I never had any real friends when I was younger. People used to bully me and the ‘friends’ I had were people who talked kind to me, but that’s it. They never stood up for me and I never had the idea I could TALK with them. When I got older, I was afraid to let people come close, so I guess that I never made any friends then either.. They were just people I could laugh with, but that was it. Nothing to close and definitely not something that could become more in the future.

    Until I met my boyfriend. He is definitely one of my best friends 🙂 I also have a sister I’m very close with and after starting college I met some people I feel good with. I don’t have a BFF, but I don’t miss it that much. I have more real friends than I ever had, so I feel blessed with that. Perhaps I will find someone like that one day, but I’m just happy that I don’t feel alone anymore 🙂

  25. Jamie – that is such an amazing/honest post. You are so brave to be that honest. Now, I have not read this book, but the friendship questions you’ve brought to mind are something that have been on my mind for the better half of this year already. Like yourself – My husband is my best friend, but I too agree sometimes you just need a lady..
    LIke you growing up young, I had friends come and go – change as I grew up, but then in middle school one day – bam – there was a gril who was my BFF – we had the necklaces and everything. We were friends up until high school – but then she got in Marching Band and started dating an older guy, and well.. I got dumped off to the side. Enter trust issues.

    But here I am still optimistic, I met a new friend and this friend really was my better half – we had a clique of 4 girls or so but Kim and I were like sisters and she was part of my heart, she was threre during everything hard during highschool, every breakup, ever tear… the other friend, Stefanie I’d had since middle school did come in and out of my life, but not like Kim, Kim was the BFF i alwasy dreamed off – and then came college. We went different directions and overnigiht she was gone, I felt like I lost an arm, or something… It was def a mourning period and to this day we rarely speak and if I see her anywhere my heart sticll aches for what we had.
    So post college re-enter Stefanie (friend rom Middle school) and once again we become very clsoe, she is in my wedding/etc, we talk daily.. her brother passes away and I’m there – where else would I be, we saw each other through a lot of rough times. Then she moves – and bam – i can’t even get a return call, now – wow that hurt. So not i’m even more timid around the females..
    time passes and I meet yet another freind, determined not to let this get me down, and again, it’ slike we’ve knowne each other our whole life – we go through a lot of tough stuff together in a short time, our husbands even get along, and then one day.. she no longer takes my calls. Last I saw on FB, she just had a baby and I wasn’t even invited to her wedding. She got some new job and it was like all of a sudden I ddin’t fit in her life plan.

    A few months after all this my dad gets sick, and then he dies.. And I am so thankful to all of my family who was there to support me, especially my husband, and this last “friend” whose name is Jennifer did come to the funeral but not a word since. The other so called “best friends” – these 2 girls who have known me since middle school and both still live here, nothing.. In fact the one I had been closest with shortly before that I called her, genuinely needeing her support and she told me i was needy and not to call her again.. WOW.

    My dad died 2 years ago and to say I am suspicioius of females as freinds is mild. Sorry to put all my business out there, but I just agree with you so much. It’s so hard to get out there at this age and meet new friends who arn’t already parts of other friends’s groups.. and it’s embarrassing to myself even to say – wow I don’t have a girlfriend to call or a best friend to call when I need a good cry. Even thinking of trying to find someone is overwhelming because of the fear I have from all the other let down friendships. Now of course I didn’t detail everything in all these relationships – there were more ups and downs and i’m sure it was not all one sided but i tried my best everytime, to be just dropped like a fly…

    I love my husband, but I would really love to have a female – if nothing more than to call sometimes to talk girl stuff.. I do miss that – but like you said – how do you go about this process? I’m chatty and open, but when it comes to putting in more than that I am a little shy because i have been hurt more times.

    To be honest I was hoping I would meet some friends, fellow bloggers, online who could become some sort of support network – to talk books and who knows what else if we had that connection, even if we are not in the same city, it would be nice still.

    OK – I have ranted well more than I wanted to. In the end I think friendships are super important, and i’m super blessed to have a wonderful husband, but I miss having girlfriends and I am hopeful that i can connect with someone over blogging and at start to generate a lfriendship on books and more so at least there is someone i can call and/or email to start and cultivate the relationship – not sure if that even makes sense…

    Great post and I think yo uare super brave to put that out there, I feel exactly the same way and even knowing that someone else feels the same, makes me feel like maybe I don’t have something wrong with me where i don’t need connection – because I do, i’m just not sure how to go about getting it the right way I guess and I’m def not sure how to put downt he guard..

    Thansk again Jamie!
    Kelley
    Book Girl From South Carolina

  26. Wow this post really seemed to resonate with so many people!! including me! In my experience it has been SO hard to make friends after college. After college me and all my friends moved away from each other and we talk and visit, but it’s not nearly the same. I don’t call them everyday or even once a week. Sometimes I have NO idea what’s going on in their lives at all. Then I go and visit and we do this big catch up, but it makes me sad that I didn’t get to hear those things when they were happening.

    Anyway I’m married and have a child and I just so don’t relate to the typical stay-at-home mom type. Yes I am completely in love with my kid and I like being married, but I want more and I want to be silly and have fun. Most stay-at-homes are very play-date, play-date, kids kids kids. I like kids, but it gets old. Plus where I live it seems like everyone has known everyone since kindergarten and it’s hard for a newcomer. When I think about finding a new BFF it scares me because it feels like SO much has happened in my life and theirs by now that it would be hard to start a history starting now (idk if that makes any sense). Basically history is important and when you meet someone new, how do you get past not having that history?

    I love that I have my husband and my mom to talk to… but I still can’t help feeling lonely for the girlfriends that I used to have.

  27. Shannon says:

    Once I hit middle school, I’ve had a fairly steady group of friends. But depending on classes, schedules, interests or whatever, I have had friends that I’ve spent more time with and gotten very close to. But most of those relationships are quick burn types. They were fun while they lasted, but once we didn’t see each other as often we drifted apart. I find this particular true of my work friends. I made a bunch more friends once I had a baby and was involved in mom groups and whatnot. I find having a kid makes it a lot easier to make friends because you have something in common and something to focus on. I tend to make friends easily, but it can be hard to really devote the time and energy into cultivating those friendships. As it stands I have two best friends. I’ve known once since I was 7. We became best friends in seventh grade and were fairly inseparable in high school. We definitely hit a rough patch here and there and sometimes really struggled to stay in touch. My other best friend I became friends with in middle school as well. We were really close in high school, but had a falling out and didn’t talk for a year. Then we randomly ran into each other at a store and it was like our relationship was completely renewed. The break was actually good for us and we have been super super close ever since. When I was younger I always wanted that “BFF” and while I had a lot of friends, I never really felt like I had that kind of connection to someone until middle school. And even then when I had BFFs, we always had other friends and interests. It isn’t until recently that I’ve noticed I do have those BFFs NOW.

  28. This is such an amazing post. I love that phrase, “I have a bff shaped hole in my heart.” Yes. My dad was in the Air Force and we moved every 2-4 years my whole life. I had friends, but no best friend. Particularly no best girl friends. Most of my friends were boys. And I mourned this for so long, but then realized like you that I had always had my sister. She is my true bff and always will be.

  29. It’s so refreshing to read something so honest! I’ve had the same best friend my entire life. Our moms knew each other and we were born six days apart. I guess we were destined to be close. My husband and I moved from England to the States 6 yrs ago, and although I still class her as a best friend I know we don’t confide in each other as often. We talk when we can but we both have young families and work full time. Life just gets in the way. When we so talk though its just like it always has been!
    Moving away from everyone and everything I know 6 years ago though has been hard. I have 2 friends and both of those are recent friendships. Not of the BFF variety though. It’s hard, I’m 29 married with 2 kids. I work full time. I don’t socialize we don’t go out often I think I’ve forgotten how to make friends as sad as it sounds. It’s hard. Sometimes I wish there was someone here I was close to just to have an excuse To go out without my husband and kids. Or to confide in when I need too. I completely understand where you are coming from!

  30. Reading your recollections of the BFFs you’ve had in your life made me think about mine. I am so, so fortunate to still be best friends with a girl I’ve known since the sixth grade (and she’s sitting next to me right now), and with a couple of girls I’ve known since high school. It’s hard, I’ll admit, to maintain friendships so strong when distance/time/life situations threaten to pull you apart – but I feel so lucky that we’ve managed to stay friends.

    I have been lucky with friends, but I’ve also had really bad experiences. There were friends that totally hated me for supposedly “ditching” them for new friends, and friends that really hated me for no particular reason at all. I’ve had awful, soap opera level drama arguments in school and other places with people, and those aren’t memories that I want to relive. These experiences were always heartbreaking, and they made it hard for me to make new friends as I grew older.

    These days, I’m good at making friends — but I’m still careful about who I choose to really allow into my life. I’m grateful for blogging, for instance, because I’ve made great friends through it, but I’m still pretty cautious about letting people in. I don’t know if this is fair, but I feel like people need to “earn” my trust before I can let them in.

  31. I totally understand that feeling of having a “BFF-shaped hole”. I’ve struggled ever since my best friend and I grew apart, to find someone who loves me as much as I love them. It’s hard to find, but I think it will come with time.

    xx, Willa

  32. Oh man I can relate to this post so well. I’ve always had some trouble making friends because I’m not super outgoing and I’d rather be home with my nose stuck in a book then out partying it up and being a social butterfly. That on top of being homeschooled just didn’t give me a lot of social outlets to meet people.

    When I was little I was friends with a few people through my church, but when you’re young you’re just friends with everybody and it’s all fun and games. Then I moved away when I was 8 years old and in the new super small town I was living in EVERYONE already knew each other. At first I felt like the odd one out and that I would never make friends. Fortunately, I eventually did connect with some people and I actually became pretty popular at church because of drama, but I was never as close with the other girls as they were with each other. I didn’t go to school with them, so I just didn’t connect with them in the same way. It was sad. 🙁

    Then I moved again during the summer between 6th and 7th grade to Arizona. NIGHTMARE. I HATED everything about my new home. My youth group sucked and seeing as that was my only social outlet I was screwed. You see, they were all blonde barbie types, and I was Asian and stigmatized because I was homeschooled. They basically hated my guts and didn’t keep it hidden. Oh and did I mention that the youth group leaders were also not so secretly racist? Yeah, it was awful. I was severely depressed for a good year or two and then finally got connected with some people at my local library. I LOVE these people. We’re all still good friends to this day and I just love being with them because we understand each other and our mutual love for literature! I also ended up getting involved in a local youth theatre during my last two years of high school and I made a lot of great friends through that as well. I’m not really connected with most of them anymore (drama friendships can be so fleeting) but I really appreciate all the good times we had doing shows together. <3

    As for best friends, I've never really understood those kinds of friendships. When I was little my family was super close with another family (actually, we're still super close) and they had two daughters who were good friends with me and my sister. However, they are quite a bit older than me (3 and 5 years) so there was always that sort of disconnect. My sister ended up being in both their weddings as bridesmaids, and she's super close to them, but I've always sort of felt like the extra person who they felt like they had to be friends with simply because of the family connection. :/

    I do have two best friends now who I love to pieces. One of them is a guy (no bgf romance here, he's gay) who I volunteered at the Library with and we always hang out and have the best time together. He's normally the first person I go to when I need to vent or have exciting news about something. I also have a best friend whose a girl that I've been close with since Jr. High. However, lately I've felt like we've been growing apart. She moved away to Bosnia for a year with her family, and I missed her so much, but when she came back it was almost like we were different people. Then she started going to public school, and now attends a university and has all her college friends and I feel sad because I love her to pieces, but I feel like we're not as close as we used to be and I miss it. It makes me sad. 🙁

    Overall, I've finally come to a place in my life where I have my friends and I'm happy with my life. Sometimes I feel sad because since I've moved within the past year I'm not close to my old Library friends or my besties anymore and I just spend all my time doing school, nannying, and just not hanging out with peers at all. My mom is always telling me I should try to connect with more people here, but I don't want to. I like things just the way they are. <3

  33. *sighs* This post really struck a nerve with me. I think everyone NEEDS a best friend, that close friend you can turn to for anything. I am really, really glad your sister and you became so close again, Jamie! That is so awesome. As we get older, my brother and I are somewhat closer, but we aren’t AS close as I’d like.

    My friendship story… Oy, I was thinking about it/her today. We were best friends. Call-in-the-middle-of-the-night/drop-everything best friends. She used to live closer, then she moved away, but we were SUPER close. We talked all the time, we wrote emails, we visited, we wrote together, creating characters and such. We told each other everything, first. Good and bad.

    Then things changed. I STILL don’t know what happened. She changed, and so did I. And suddenly we just…we didn’t FIT together anymore. We started not talking, not saying things that needed to be said. She went through some bad changes, and I went through some good changes. Then we reversed. We both changed so much, and the harder we tried to fix “us” the more clear it was that we weren’t going to be “us” anymore. In some ways, I was like you, in that I saw what was happening, but I didn’t know what to do. The more I tried, the more she pulled away. It hurts too much to really go into it, but I WILL say…that door closed, but another one opened. As our friendship waned, I got a LOT closer with some friends here, and then I met someone who ended up becoming just that BEST friend I’d been missing. So I do think whether it’s your sister, or whether you meet someone else, you will find that BFF again, Jamie. She’s out there! It just takes time, and your paths crossing. In my case, I’d known some of my closest friends years before we really became super close.

    Anyway in closing, thank you for this post. I love that a book made you think about all this, and brought it into your mind. I respect you for posting this, girl! *huge hugs*

  34. *hugs* I know EXACTLY what you mean on this. I actually wrote up a whole comment when you first posted this and went through all my friendships and then I was like, “No no no, that’s too much. I don’t need to line item all my friendships that have failed in your comments.” So I chose not to post it, but now with a clearer head, I can say that I absolutely related. Some friends I’ve just drifted apart from, some friendships I grew out of, some moved away, and some just plain stopped talking to me for seemingly no reason, but no matter which one, they all still hurt.
    Every day since I’ve met Shane I’m SO thankful to have him in my life as my second half and he’s always making me a better person BUT I do miss the best girl friend. There are just some things you need to talk to your BFF about and not a boyfriend/husband. I still have VERY close friends from elementary school and my old college roomies, but both of those groups I usually see once a month at most. I didn’t really have anyone to talk to day-to-day until I met my blogging BFF. Even though she’s halfway across the country, we are two peas in a pod and she really is my BFF across all factors of life, not just blogging! We talk about anything and everything and it’s SO nice to have that feeling of a BFF again!! Too bad we don’t live close together…. But I know I can talk to her about anything and I’m so thankful that I finally found someone as an adult to connect with!

  35. What a post! I find that I struggle with wanting to have BFFs and wanting to be a longer. You mentioned having trouble with friends because of trust issues and I am in the same boat. Because of things I have had to deal with growing up, I find I am easily disappointed but others and I am afraid to depend on others. I too am 27 and married (no kids and no plans for them) and the closest I have to a best friend is actually my husband’s sister. She is great and we have many common interests but she will always be my husband’s sister and there is a whole aspect of my life that I cannot talk about with her unbiasedly. I tend to talk things through with myself instead of others but I don’t know if that is as helpful. Sometimes I wish I had someone to go shopping, dancing, travelling with. Someone to text jokes and funny pictures to. Someone to vent to. I loved your comment about wearing a BFF wanted sign – it is so hard to pick up chicks at the bar haha. I’d love to be your friend if you want : )

  36. Awww, I love how personal you get on here.

    I’ve never actually had a BFF of my own. Like I’ve had really good friends, and even ones who appreciated me, but never one who liked me more than everyone else, if that makes sense. Like my closest friends have always had other closer friends. Like I’m second level best friend or whatever. Which, I mean, I shouldn’t care about, but when the chips are down always being second best gets OLD.

    Anyway, though, I did have a legit BFF breakup senior year of college. We hung out like all the time, because she was mad at number one favorite friend. Then they like made up I guess and she stopped talking to me. We’d even swapped spare car keys just in case, so we had to like give the keys back, like a couple that had broken up. It was ridic and awful. She’s still in my life to talk to every few months, but we’ll never be super close again. I don’t think that was personal exactly, because she does sort of shut down and want nothing to do with someone for a while, and she does care again, but I can’t handle that regularly.

    Right now, I have two super close friends, which is hard. Three just is not a good number for friendships, because two are always closer, and I should just be nicknamed third wheel already. Lol. But really it’s not that bad and I think we can work through it. Really, I dream of falling in love with some guy someday and him being my best friend. I want to be the person someone would pick first for their team someday.

    Also, I sound so whiny and pathetic right now. Ugh. I hate it, but I will post it anyway.

    You are awesome and I am SO excited to meet you.

    Oh, and it IS hard to make friends as an adult. Like, I feel like a I have a lot of new friends on Twitter, but being besties is tough since everyone’s all over the world. 🙁

  37. Jamie, this post really SPOKE TO ME. I have been struggling with this for a long time. It all started when my BFF moved across the state for college. This was in 2006 and honestly – things have never been the same. I often wonder if I’ve spent more time happy in our friendship or more time hurting because of it.

    Bottom line, my BFF cannot do long distance friendships. I’d reach out to her in college but she couldn’t even respond to a simple text. She was just SO BUSY, you know? I was at college too and wanted to share things with her during that new and scary time of our lives, but she was so distant. It’s only gotten worse since she’s married now. She lives 5+ hours away with her husband and is so immersed in her life over there. I can’t remember the last time she asked me for advice or for a shoulder to cry on. Heck, I can’t remember the last time she even called me! Over Easter she announced she was pregnant. Sadly, the only thing I could feel was empty because it’s another thing that’s going to take her away from me.

    She’s the matron of honor in my wedding next year, but daily I question that choice of mine. Our parents live in the same neighborhood and my mom told me she saw my BFF’s car home over the weekend. She lives across the state, and is only home a couple times a year, but did she even mention that she was traveling home? Of course not.

    I miss that BFF figure in my life so much. It is a daily hurt that never truly goes away. Anyway, just wanted to say you’re not alone! The BFF shaped hole is in my heart too.

  38. I think the whole BFF thing is really hard to find. Most of the friendships I’ve made don’t last more than two years. I’m always the one that kind of drifts apart. I know it sounds terrible, but staying in touch is harder for some people that others. You know, you just have to accept that not all friendships will last forever.

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