For my childhood friend.
I don’t think I’ve ever properly thanked you for all the years you were my friend. Instead, I took you for granted, I berated you with advice I had no authority to give and I wanted to outshine you in every possible way.
In hindsight, you were always the better person, the better friend. You were – are – better in all aspects of life. My childhood naivety led me to believe our curricular and extra-curricular activities were the important things, but I was far mistaken.
I wanted to be better than you at everything we did together and, even though I rarely (if ever) was, you always let me. You quietly sat in the background while I tried to hog the spotlight. I can’t express my appreciation for you or how sorry I am that I couldn’t be as great of a friend in return.
Although we hardly ever speak to each other anymore, and seemed as strangers when last we did, I think about you a lot. I often wonder about you and your family. I wonder if you’re happy and how your life is with your husband and children. I wonder if your life has been as you expected or if your journey has been as winding as mine.
I wonder if the women we’ve become would have been as close of friends as the children we once were.
I think a lot about how you were always the one who seemed to have things together. For all the times I tried to give you advice, tell you how to live and tell you what choices to make, you graciously accepted, but already knew better. You listened for my sake, but maintained your own attitudes and made your own decisions. I was too immature to realize and appreciate the strength of your character.
I want you to know that my intentions were always good. Even when I had no experience to support the answers I swore I knew, I always believed they were accurate.
I always thought I had a handle on life. Even when life proved me wrong, I would adjust my ideas and believe that now I had all the answers, only to be proven wrong again. I was in a vicious cycle of believing I’d experienced enough to know it all.
My only redemption is that I never believed I would lead you wrong. I just had no business trying to lead in the first place.
In almost 30 years, I’m only now realizing how wrong I was. For all the times you listened to me, one of my biggest regrets is that I never listened to you.
I believe every person in our lives holds a lesson for us. I finally have someone in my life from whom I am learning how to build and maintain healthy relationships. In hindsight, I believe I was meant to learn this years ago, from you. I was just too ignorant to grasp the lesson.
I’m not sure if we could ever be as close of friends as we used to be, but I want you to know that I often think about those years, I miss them and I cherish them. Lylas, always.