Throughout my life I invested almost all of my energy in being someone else’s best friend, or best girlfriend. I focused on finding the good in them, figuring out what they liked, and doing all I could to make sure they were happy and fulfilled. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but one day reality hit, and I was left with nobody but myself. And the worst part was, I wasn’t even sure who or what that left me with. I didn’t know myself. Not only was I not my best friend, but I wasn’t even sure if I would consider myself an acquaintance with myself. I knew myself only in relation to other people. What a rude awakening it was when I realized my only best friend forever is me.
You’re all you’ve got. This is not to say your friends won’t be there for you, and family is family for life (whether you like it or not), but even the closest of friends can be separated and not all families are accessible. I lost the deep connection I had with my best friend when I moved across the country. My sister, who I also consider a best friend, lives in Australia, and though I can still talk to her over the phone, the 17 hour time difference makes it a challenge. Relationships come and go. It’s inevitable. But the one relationship you will always have, guaranteed, forever and always, is the one with yourself. Whether you like it or not, you’re stuck with you, so you might as well learn to be you’re own best friend.
You always have your own back. Not everybody is going to be on your side. Not everybody is going to agree with your decisions or support you in your life. That’s ok. It’s not their responsibility to have your back, it’s yours. When things get tough, be there for yourself and keep yourself encouraged. A little positive self-talk never hurt anyone. Stick up for yourself. Do what you feel is right even if others disagree. Definitely find the people who cheer you on in life, but never forget to have your own back too.
You are constantly changing. You know everything about your best friend, right? As soon as something new happens in their life or something changes you’re the first to know. Just like your best friend, just like any person, you are constantly evolving. Therefore, you have to continuously be invested in yourself and in your life to truly stay up to date with who you are. In the moments when I realized how important it was to be my own best friend, I also realized how little I knew myself. It was like I was meeting myself all over again. Sure, I knew the core information about who I was, but there were some fundamental questions I couldn’t answer: What do I enjoy? What makes me happy? What do I want to purse? How do I want my life to look? Who am I created to be? These became the questions I needed answered, and there was no textbook to study. I had to learn myself by myself.
You can’t escape yourself. So you might as well learn to love yourself. I struggled with self-love for a very long time. And to be honest, I wouldn’t even say I have achieved it fully yet. I’m more in the “self-like” stage. I’m starting to see that I’m a pretty cool person, but I still have a lot to learn about myself in order to fall in love with who I am. But I know it must happen. I know no matter how uncomfortable or challenging it is to love who I am, with all my quarks and flaws, it is essential. You will have yourself forever, so you might as well learn to enjoy the unique person you are.
You value the things you like. When you place value on something, you treat it with the upmost care. You need to be important to you. When you like yourself, you will value yourself. When you value yourself, you will make positive decisions for your life. You will care for your physical body by exercising and eating right. You will care for your mind and your heart by investing in the things you love. When you become your own best friend, your eyes will be opened to all the worth you hold just because of who you are.
I’m not telling you to ditch your best friend or put yourself in a place of isolation. Friends are important – extremely important and awesome and fun – but so are you. Learn yourself, love yourself, and become your own best friend.