Best Friends: The Same, But Different

Guest Post from Kerin Miller

Wildflowers Unscripted Writing Challenge Day 13: How my friends/fam would describe me

I could give you my best guess for today’s topic. Instead, I reached out to my best friend when I saw this as a writing challenge topic and asked if she would write today’s post. So, here it is–my best friend’s take on how she would describe me.

When Ty asked me to guest blog for her, the last topic I imagined to write on would be, well, Ty.

Our friendship began when we met way back in the sixth grade when I was the kid in tan overalls who started school two weeks late. Since then we have laughed, battled and grown through high school, college and the beginning of adulthood together. There are few memories of mine that do not include her in them.

August 2013
August 2013

As best friends, we have gone from being the same person to two completely different individuals. She is the stability to my with-the-wind personality. I’m the one who tends to act and then think later, while she will more likely already have a plan in action. In that sense, we balance each other.

Like any other relationship, we’ve learned to work through our strengths and weaknesses. This more laidback “do-what-you-want” Tyece has graciously replaced the “judge-now-ask-questions-later” version. With that said, I admire how much she has grown to be more accepting and a less judgmental person.

But if there was one thing I could change about Ty, it would be for her to be easier on herself. She sets all these expectations for herself, which any hard-working person should do, but sometimes things just don’t work out, and I often see how difficult that can be for her to accept.

As a whole, my best friend has grown so much into the powerhouse her graduation cap called into action three years ago, and I’m glad I’ve been able to witness it. Her ability to set a goal and get it done is something I look up to because Lord knows it’s something I struggle with.

I think that’s why we appreciate our friendship so much; things we are not good at we tend to pull from the other.  Well that and our knack for sitting on a couch for hours watching Sex and the City.

Should Your Significant Other Also Be Your Best Friend? I’m Not So Convinced.

significant otherSometimes I like to start shit. Today wasn’t much different.

I took to the Twitterverse and Facebook world alike to poll a loaded question: “Should your significant other also be your best friend?” This is a blog topic that someone posed to me a few weeks ago and I sat on it for awhile. Today, I decided I wanted to hear other takes on the subject. The responses I got were vast and varied. My sampling showed some different stances on the topic, particularly relative to people who are in relationships/engaged/married versus single. There was also somewhat of a gender divide with some men offering a resounding “No” and some women offering a vocal “Yes.”  

My frame of reference for a best friend dates back to sixth grade when I donned terribly hideous braids and met my best friend of 13 years, Kerin. I do not know when I started calling her my best friend, but at some point, I invoked that moniker upon her. Over the years, our friendship has evolved and somewhere, probably in college and certainly in my post-grad life, I learned a priceless lesson: a best friend cannot be all things to you. That does not make them any more or any less; it simply makes them human.

Everyone has seen those Facebook status updates that say, “I married my best friend!” to which you restrain yourself from responding in the tiny comment box, “Oh, shut the fuck up, why don’t you?” The concept seems unfathomable and far away, but maybe that’s just me. As one of my friends very eloquently put it earlier, “One person cannot be the best at all of those things 100% of the time…and still be expected to satisfy you sexually. That’s just unfair on so many levels.” Well, amen to that.

No single person can be all things to you. To expect that is not only unjust to the people around you, but more so completely unfair to yourself. You’ll never be satisfied. Your life will become a cyclone of relationships in which you cling on to unrealistic expectations. Life requires us to host a diverse set of relationships. In my own life, I have the friends I go to for career advice. The friends I go to for writing advice. The friends I go to when I want to throw back some margaritas and talk shit. The friends I call when I’m sobbing, the friends I call when I need to vent and the friends I call when I need a laugh that feels so good, it hurts. Some of my friends, particularly the closest ones, are versatile and juggle many of those needs, but even those people have their specialities.  And, every now and again, there is shit I have to figure out with only myself and the Big Man. No friend or family member can help me traverse those swamps.

Of course your significant other should be one of your closest friends, greatest supporter and partner; I’d never argue against that. He or she simply can’t and never will be all things to you at all times. Just don’t cheat yourself and believe that your significant other will fight all the fires and save all the days. Get some other friends. Get the ability to quiet your own mind and sort through your own messes. Just don’t get another bone buddy. That’s definitely the significant other’s job.