I have been pondering this term for a while. Lots of people I know designate someone as their best friend. I suppose it starts in elementary school, or high school, or maybe even pre-school. Best friends change. Best friends come and go. Best friends are different for different parts of my life. My husband is my best friend. My friend from grade school is my best friend. My sister is my best friend. My friend from my first year of teaching in my best friend. My friend from my last year of teaching is my best friend. To me, a best friend may be someone I don't see often, but when I do we can just pick up where we left off. I think I have a few best friends. Is that weird?
On the flip side I know that sometimes, irrationally, my feelings are hurt when someone I consider to be very close to announces that someone else is their best friend. I want to be their best friend. Are we only allowed one best friend? That would be silly. Right?
I have been learning to be my own best friend. Someone I can count on when the chips are down. But I have lots of best friends who I can count on for different needs in my life.
This past summer I read Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities. I actually have a lot to say about this book. Most of it uncomplimentary. And I have an opinion about it being on the high school reading syllabus. But. There was this one paragraph that truly stuck with me.
"A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. A solemn consideration, when I enter a great city by night, that every one of those darkly clustered houses encloses its own secret; that every beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of breasts there, is, in some of its imagining, a secret to the heart nearest it!"
Somehow this passage truly spoke to me. If, when, I feel so alone, it is because I am. And I am glad that I have some best friends to share some of my secrets with and in those moments don't feel so alone. Maybe if we all made room for more best friends we all would feel better. At least a little. At least some of the time.