I've had plenty of friends over the years.
When you grow up in the age of social media and the Internet, it's impossible to not end up with more than 1,000 Facebook friends and hundreds of followers on any platform.
You end up friends with everyone within a 20-mile radius because they're all "a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend."
I've always had friends come in and out of my life, but I've never been anyone's best friend.
Over the years, I've been everyone’s 'friend,' always falling second or third on their roster, never a priority, but always an option.
Soon I had to realize that many people loved the idea of having me as a friend, but lacked the maturity to handle the reality of me.
I come with baggage, but who doesn’t? I’m impulsive, I get immense anxiety and often I’m my own worst enemy. But, as a friend, I’m bulletproof.
I stand by friends like a Siamese twin, being their backbone when they lack it and being their biggest cheerleader when they need it.
Somehow though, it was just never enough.
As unfortunate as this may sound, it’s been the greatest gift the universe has given me.
It’s taught me unique lessons, and a version of sovereignty that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise. Here's what my lack of BFF status has taught me over the years:
1. Sheer Independence.
Independence is what only a few girls have and most girls want. I’ve been able to become the most independent version of myself by being solo on the trip throughout my life.
Often, I feel more rewarded knowing I worked hard on my own to accomplish things without help or favors. It makes everything feel that much better.
I can work four jobs, get honors in college and manage a serious relationship because I don’t have to worry about offending anyone with neglect.
I can buy whatever dress I want because my opinion of how I look in it is all that matters (sorry, "Mean Girls.")
I rely on myself and only myself. Therefore, I can never blame anyone but myself if things don't work out.
2. Standing Solo.
Winston Churchill once said, “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”
Usually that something is myself and the people I believe in. Often though, this leads to a distaste for my personality or character to certain people.
People want to distance themselves from controversy, and controversy is my middle name. It's because I have a big mouth and a strong opinion, and I stand by my thoughts and words.
It’s okay because being solo has taught me how to stand up for myself, by myself. This means that I always stand by what and whom I believe in and don’t have to worry about stepping on toes or upsetting anyone in the process.
If people don't like what I have to say, it doesn't really matter to me because I know who I am, where I'm coming from and where I'm going. No one will stop me in the process.
3. The Beauty Of Silence.
I used to hate being alone. I used to always want to be surrounded by people and doing things with others rather than be alone.
I wouldn't want to go out unless I had plans with other people and I'd be uncomfortable showing up to parties solo.
As I've grown older and matured, I've realized that it's healthy to spend time alone.
There's absolute bliss in going to grab a meal or a cup of coffee by yourself. Often, this is when I really get my thoughts rolling and my story ideas or content pieces together for my writing.
I can be in my own head in complete, beautiful silence. I can read books, I can write poems and I can be in love with myself without someone trying to dump his or her problems on me.