She’s my person. If I murdered someone, she’s the person I’d call to help me drag the corpse across the living room floor. She’s my person.
The Tale of the Hetero-Life-Mate
People are not possessions. People are people. You can’t claim a person, and tell them to feel a certain way, and expect them to do what you do, and take ownership of them. People don’t come with dowries, and acres of land, and cows and pigs and gold coins. You can’t claim a person. Most of the time.
Kate and I met in 6th grade, but really only had mutual friends until junior year of high school when I guess we mutually decided to become friends. I always saw her from a distance and thought she was cool, but we didn’t have any classes in common or anything until junior year. I mean sophomore year is really when I guess we decided to be friends, through Patrick I think, but junior year is when I guess we mutually decided to keep being friends. Idk, it’s sort of fuzzy. Can you really remember the exact date you decided to be friends with somebody? It usually just sort of happens right? The point is, it happened, and I’m so so thankful it happened.
There’s a point in every single day that I say to myself “I’m so thankful she’s there. I know she’s always there and it makes it bearable.” It’s the result of years of work and tears and laughter and happiness and sadness and celebration and anguish and fear and even a tiny bit of cuddling. She makes life so much better for me, and for everybody else, and she was worth the fight. Genuinely, she’s my better half.
Junior and Senior year was just natural friend growth; we started hanging out more, and we did prom and graduation and all that together. After high school, we went to UCSC together, and were in the same college together. The first six months of that was bliss – it was the best friend dream. We got to spend every day together, and we got to do everything together. We lived close enough from home to do visit but had enough freedom to just exist. The thing that happened is what you see in every movie. We got too stuck together. We were also far from where we are now, emotionally and I can personally tell you that I handled it terribly.
It was my first lesson in what being an actual friend was.
My entire life, I had friends, best friends even, but they never put in work. We were parent-arranged friends so although we’d set up playdates through our friends, I always felt like something was missing because I’d love doing stuff with them but I didn’t feel like I ever got that back. I could fully express that and act on it as I got older, so with Kate, it finally felt right because there was a mutual interest. And then, winter 2008/9 happened.
Essentially we just needed space. There was also this terrible other person (well…2 people) that greatly influenced how this fight went, but we just needed to appreciate the space between us too. My first issue was possession – that even thought she was happy with her boyfriend and happy with certain things, I just felt like she was mine. At the end of the day I should have the right to tell her to do things. My expectation of the mutual friendship was that I could act like that and it was valid because she was my best friend. My second issue was just communicating. I’m still learning, but I just would let everything build and build and build, and since she was the closest, it’d all just end up being thrown into her. And that wasn’t fair. And then the third issue was also using those 2 people as messengers, passive aggressively between us.
Our fight was the first lesson in being true friends that I ever really had.
Things blew up between us and we just didn’t talk for a week. We actually had plans to do a ton of things, since it was the week of Spring Break but we bailed on it all. I think since then, it’s the longest we had ever gone without talking. We pitted certain groups of friends against each other. She spent time with her boyfriend and the messengers, and I spent time with the group of boys we were friends with. It was shitty to put them through that, and they took it like champions (which I still don’t think I ever thanked them for).
Eventually, I think what happened was that we saw each other at school and slowly started interacting again. I mean, to be fair it was only a week, but it felt like forever. Forever at least for me. It was a fantastically crappy week of knowing that I’d made a lot of mistakes. And that I couldn’t ever do that again if I wanted to keep her around, which I mean I was a little put off by because I was angry but I knew I needed her. I needed her.
That fight defined a lot of boundaries for me. It brought forth a lot as well. It made me see what was important in a friendship. Loyalty is everything to me; it goes farther than just mutually trying though. It’s accepting who the other person is, regardless of what they do. It’s letting them be happy and absolutely supporting them and every single decision. It’s not putting your needs first because things will happen they way they should. It’s so much more than your expectations of the other person, but fulfilling their expectations of you.
I’m the biggest believer in “Everything happens for a reason.” That fight happened and it helped us grow together as friends more so than anything else has. Even though it felt like we couldn’t be farther at a certain point, it brought us unfathomably closer.
In the show Grey’s Anatomy, Meredith and Cristina were made for each other. They call each other their people. That’s what we are. She’s my person. Everything we went through proved the worth we had for each other. We’ve only grown closer since then. I’m not a person that shares a lot – I’m nothing without my secrets really. They comfort me. They focus me. It’s hard to explain. It’s my space, really; it’s my business. It sounds like a pompous and selfish statement, but, it’s who I am. I tell Kate everything though. She’s my person.
You can’t claim a person. You can’t own them. You can’t tell people to step off. But she’s got me for life – and I will gladly let her take claim of me. She’s Kate and she’s my person and my best friend and at a certain level, my soulmate. And well, future true-love-romantic-soul-mate-guy, you’re going to have to be ok with it.
Not everybody gets to find a person so quickly in life. I count my stars every night because I’m so lucky that I have. I’m proud of everything she’s done and everything she will be. I know I always will have her support, and I will always be able to tell her anything and everything.
Shitty, shitty things may happen, but our friendship is forever one of the best parts of my day.
I hope everybody gets to experience this in their life. I don’t know where I’d be without it.