“Hey, how are you? If you even remember me. Lol.”
A message I received on Facebook. I went to the guy’s profile page to see if I did remember him. Vaguely. I kind of recognised his face, but I couldn’t tell you where from. I awkwardly replied saying I vaguely remembered him, and he told me we used to chat after one of us found the other on a penpal website years ago. I remembered the site, and it was probably me finding him, to be honest, as I would try making friends with a number of people. But I still didn’t remember him from back then that well. I still don’t. That message was sent six years ago today.
My best friend Adam and I have been friends for six years!
Six years feels like nothing, and it feels like forever. In the great scheme of things, it isn’t that great an amount of time, but yet so much has happened in those six years. My grandma’s dementia got worse, and for a year or two, I leaned on Adam as I swayed between sadness and frustration. Soon after she went into a home on doctor’s orders (we were told we could no longer look after her), my nan was diagnosed with cancer, which meant another two years or so of me leaning heavily on Adam, as she suffered and after she died, full of sadness and fear, and then completely devastated. And he has had a daughter! Who is wonderful and amazing and so smart! Who will be turning two in two days!
We’re kind of chalk and cheese in some ways. I’m an open, emotional person, where as Adam’s more private. I’m a hopeful, optimistic, cheerful person, where as he’s really quite cynical and, I would say, kind of pessimistic. He’s very confident and doesn’t give a crap what anyone thinks, where as, as he would say, I worry too much and over think things. He’s a super cool geek, a walking contradiction; a seriously smart font of knowledge who loves Star Trek and Batman, who rides (or used to) motorbikes, plays guitar, worships Bruce Springsteen, and knows he’s hot shit without being arrogant. I read, I write, I can be a little slow and struggle with self-confidence. Somehow our friendship just works. Probably because of our mutual love of The Big Bang Theory – though he’s the one who got me hooked on the show.
I cannot even begin to tell you what Adam’s friendship has meant to me. Over the years, I have had more friends than I can count, but none who have accepted me for me as completely as Adam has, and in doing so has helped me to accept myself. He doesn’t judge me as childish when I’m being silly. Instead, he’ll be silly with me. He doesn’t roll his eyes when I’m venting about feminist issues; he listens. He doesn’t tell me to get a grip when I admit to being scared; he encourages me.
I can talk to him about absolutely anything without fear of being judged; I can get excited, telling him how I’ve just seen the first daisies of the year; I can enthuse about an art exhibition I’ve gone to, and he will ask questions, even though he has very little interest in it himself; I can moan about my periods without him running for the hills; I can get excited about my writing, and he’ll read it, and tell me I should be proud of myself.
With his support and his efforts to be there for me, to cheer me up, or give me the hard truth that I needed to hear when I was drowning in sadness, he kept me afloat until I could make my own way back to shore.
To stretch that metaphore a little further, our friendship hasn’t always been plain sailing. I can be quick to anger if he’s said or done something that’s upset me, and I’ll give him crap for it. But I’ve not always been right, sometimes I’ve misunderstood, or been mistaken. I don’t really remember him ever having a go at me, but I’m sure it’s wound him up when I’ve had a go at him over nothing. But we always forgive each other, and I think our friendship has grown stronger because of it. I trust him completely, and considering I have trust issues, that’s saying something.
But I think friendship is kind of fragile, too. I always have this fear that I’m going to screw things up one day. I’m going to say the wrong thing, and it will all blow up. Although I hope we’ll be friends for a long time to come, I don’t take it for granted that he’ll always be there for me to lean on or laugh with or share my excitment with. I am grateful each and every day I get to call him my best mate. Hopefully I’ll be telling you again how awesome he is in another six years.
Thanks for being my best mate, Page. After chocolate, you’re my favourite.