According to the movies, TV shows, and songs of my 90s youth, friends are FOR-EVA! You are meant to be friends with the kid next door, your high school clique, or college roommate until the day you die. Even the odd ball loner kids end up with a best friend in movie after movie.
Somewhere along the line I missed the BFF boat. It just never happened.
I was homeschooled up until high school, and never was quite able to make up the social gap of having a wildly different day to day experience from the other girls in scouts and ballet.
I had friends. As Laura pointed out earlier this week, they would mostly be called friends of utility or pleasure. I was the kind of friend that would probably be invited to the wedding, but not considered for a bridesmaid.
I went many states away for college, and got married and had a baby very soon after graduation. Compounded with the Millennial reality of frequent moves, big job changes, and living far away from my hometown – I felt doomed to miss the deep social bonding that enables BFFs to form.
If it had not happened by now, would it ever happen?
When I mentally sat down with myself and went over why I believed I needed to have a best friend, it dawned on me it was for no other reason than I had ingrained the cultural messages of my youth. There were no emotional needs that only a best-friend-who-knows-my-deepest-darkest-soul could meet.
Wanting a BFF was more about wanting what I did not have, and wanting what I perceived everyone else to have. A jealousy couched as a need.
Jealousy is a terrible pilot and it blinded me to the very different, but still beautiful, way of doing friendship that works in my transient millennial mom life. My friendships are nurtured from afar, utilize technology, and include women I have never even met in person. My friends are a big mix of people, living all over the world, and living different lives from me and each other.
It is not the 90s movie version of friendship, but it is the kind of friendship I truly need.
What do your friendships look like? Are they different from your initial expectations?