Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My Best Friend

I just want it to be Saturday already.

Not because it's my birthday, I'm not that self-centered, but because it means I get to spend quality time with the one person who, without fail, can make me feel safe and sane and wanted with just a hug.  He's the one who can look at me and tell something is wrong, and then hold me until I'm ready to let go.  He has always been the one person that I know can make me feel normal when the rest of the world told me I was nothing but an outsider.  He's the one person whose love has always felt absolutely unconditional, whose love I never felt I had to earn, who never held expectations of the kind of friend I was supposed to be because he always instinctively knew that I was loving him the best I knew how.

Things with my family the past few days have been, needless to say, really bad.  Worse than usual.  The kind of bad that makes me retreat back into my shell and just pray I can make it through the latest war without losing my mind.  And it's spells like this that only serve to remind me that I don't belong here anymore.

But here I sit, for another two months and one week.  In a town that doesn't feel like home, with people that don't really seem to want me around, working a job that isn't making me happy, a town where I have zero friends to make me want to be here.  Because let's face it, I do so much better loving my family from afar.

That's why I can't wait for Saturday.  Saturday means that for one night, I can be reminded of what life is like outside of this house, this town.  I can joke and laugh and talk with the person who knows me better than anyone and remember what it's like not to feel like an outsider.

The ironic part about this whole thing?  In the almost 11 years we have known each other, Matt has never been a Christian, yet I think of God every time I look at him.  Not in some I-worship-my-best-friend kind of way, but as a reminder of how much God has blessed me beyond what I could ever imagine.  I see the way Matt loves me, and am reminded that God's love for me is infinitely greater.  He hugs me in that warm way that only he can, and I remember that I can run to God and be wrapped in His embrace anytime.  God knew exactly what I needed through the darkest years of my life, and He handed me the one person who could put up with all of it, love me at my worst, and never leave even when the rest of the world told him he should.  I'm not kidding when I say that his presence saved my life every day of my high school years.

But honestly, the thing that blows my mind the most is that Matt is, I would say, the person who loves me best and most unconditionally.  As much as it pains me to say, there have been periods in my life where I've felt like I had to be something or do something well enough to earn my mom's love and attention.  I know now that that's almost certainly not the case, but that's the way it felt.  And because of the issues my mom faces in her own life, there have been times when she simply wasn't capable of being present the way I needed her to be.

Matt, though?  It was never a question with him.  Even the times when I said I was convinced that he didn't really care about me, I knew in my heart that wasn't true, I was speaking out of fear, and he later told me that he never got mad about all of those instances because he knew why I was lashing out at him even when I didn't.  He has seen me at my absolute worst and never retreated in the slightest, not even when I told him to.  I learned what it means to fight for the people you love because of him.  He is my constant reminder of God's unconditional love for me, even if he doesn't understand it himself.

And I am so thankful that I've finally gotten to the point where I appreciate this relationship for what it is and want nothing more out of it.  He is my absolute best friend in the world, my big brother, the person who knows me like no one else.  If he had ever caved to all the times I practically begged him to let me be his girlfriend, or even worse to the times when I offered my body to him in hopes that that would make him love me (and thank God for that, because I would've hated him afterwards), in the end, I know that I would have lost him for good.  I would have lost my best friend.

What we have, this quirky, bizarre relationship that no one else really gets, is the kind of gift that you can't replace.  And I wouldn't trade it for anything.

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