Together Through the Years: The Beauty of Childhood Friendships (Best friends laughing together)

Together Through the Years

Melissa Gosselin

Every time someone shares a story, I am transported— immersed in the highs and the lows, connected to each relationship. It is such a privilege to be taken on these journeys, to be able to learn and grow from each experience.

This week, I’m exploring different kinds of friendships— the kinds that shape us, that make us who we are. What happens when you’ve known a friend most of your life? What kind of an impact does that have on someone?

This is Mia's story about her best friend Sara. 

Mia met Sara twenty-three years ago, when she was eight years old. They met through Sara’s older sister, who would sometimes bring Sara along to sleepovers. Eventually it was just Mia and Sara who would hang out, who would have sleepovers every weekend, alternating between each other’s houses.

Mia says they can communicate an entire thought with a glance— one of the benefits of knowing each other so long. She says it’s probably because they have the same cultural references... because they’ve listened to the same music and watched the same shows. Sometimes people even think Mia and Sara are sisters. Their mannerisms are the same, they talk in the same way and they dress in similar styles, so when people see them together it’s like: “Oh, you’re sisters… even though you look nothing alike.”

Mia also says that Sara is one of the only people she trusts with her darkest moments. Because Sara is blunt and never sugarcoats anything— and yet is able to provide a pragmatic way forward. And she likes that nothing can scare Sara off, since she’s lived through her own trauma. She says Sara has the armour to face any monster alongside her.

But what’s most special is that, as children, they bonded over the love of imaginary play, and as they grew older that transformed into a love of storytelling. Their writing has become a space to sort through problems and also dream big. One example is that, when Mia feels insecure or anxious about a new job, Sara always tells her to pretend that she’s the main character from a book they’re writing. And Mia says it helps every time— because so many of her hopes and dreams for herself are embedded in the characters she creates. So when she wears them like a costume she feels like she can take on anything.

Do you have a friend who’s become a part of you? Who supports you during hard times and who helps you grow? Someone who helps overcome every obstacle, who sits with you in the dark, who helps you reach higher than what you thought possible?

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