For each of my best friends, I’ve had a cute or silly way I met each of them, and always found out that we be friends instantly. I would recite the story a few years later, with a grin. But sometimes, you do not have a funny story or a sweet way you met your best friend. For Brey, I don’t. I knew her all through high school, but we were not close. I don’t even know how I met her. Our friendship started out quietly or slow, and out of mutual convenience. It is incredibly lackluster. However, what our friendship became is considerably less lackluster, and Brey herself is not quiet or slow.
I was going to make this tribute about everything Brey has done for me, but there is simply too much. So I’ll start with this: it is not often you date your best friend, but it is even less often you break up with them and the same week they are holding your hand while you get your IUD put it. Brey and I have done that. On top of it, Brey was telling jokes to my doctor during the process. That’s the type of friend Brey is. She is funny, maybe a little inappropriate, and always, always there for you.
Life is messy, and I think it’s people like Brey that keep others going, honestly. In a word where everyone is so busy and conversations feel shallow, brief, and often impersonal and through the internet, Brey stops and listens. She is full of emotion and is genuine. Brey is human, in the most down-to-earth way. There are not enough ways I can explain this. I suppose it can be hard to explain an emotion in the words we have. Here I am, trying. Brey is safety and compassion.
Before I get lost over-romanticizing my own best friend, I would like to take some of this time to recognize how Brey has affected me and my life. When I say Brey is safety, perhaps some of that comes from her always being there for me. From listening to me complain about my teammates, to giving me a place to live while trying to pursue my dreams and make my way through college, Brey was always up for the task. I don’t think I thank her enough for everything she’s done for me, and can only hope to someday repay all of that.
Aside from her giving nature, Brey is compassionate and considerate, sometimes to a fault. Upon realizing I was going vegetarian and then even vegan, Brey not only listened to me on those moral issues, not only made room for that in our home, not only made space for me to be comfortable about it (giving up her own space), but also on top of that all ended up going vegan herself, having the patience to listen to the issue and the compassion for animals to go vegan. Brey’s compassion is overwhelming. Naturally, having such a strong characteristic, it can sometimes become an issue. I have watched, sometimes with frustration, as Brey was so compassionate that people have walked over her, or she has stayed in relationships long before they should have ended. She gives and gives and gives, when sometimes she is not being appreciated as much as I think she should be. It makes me wonder: have any of us appreciated her enough?
Then I remember the dirty dishes she would leave out…
Okay, let’s be real, the bit of messiness she had a tendency to have was not even close to balance out all of her amazing attributes. It does, however, lead us to our next point: her self-critique and growth. One very special thing about my relationship with Brey is that I have had the opportunity to watch her and her views develop. Regarding the dishes and her general messiness, while this is an issue I had previously struggled with her while we lived together, she has had her moment of self-awareness and changed her ways. This is a small thing, but it demonstrates the potential for progress in Brey that I’ve loved. Brey not only recognizes her own flaws, but seems to change them and improve herself. That is always something I really look up to in people, and Brey is one of the people in my life I see doing it the most.
The best example of this is her feminism and feminist lens. I went through many classes, studying feminism and feminist theory. Brey did not. However, in the amount of time I was in those classes and graduated, I found that Brey made the same amount of personal growth as I did, minus some technical terms and papers written. Now, even though I have a women’s studies degree, she is my equal in feminist thought easily, and even both is capable of critiquing me when I make a mistake, and comes up with original feminist theory ideas which is something that I consider to be a hallmark of the creators and theorists of feminism. I will never forget saying a somewhat derogatory comment on a music video about a certain type of dancing, and her correcting me on that, calling me out on it. While it never feels great to be critiqued, I think that is a true show of genuine friendship. Friends do not let friends do or say terrible things, and Brey keeps me in check. I never thought I’d be so proud of someone for telling me, “hey, that’s not cool.”
Finally, the last thing I really appreciate about Brey is her sense of humor. This is a huge difference between us, because often I believe I am a bit serious. I admire Brey for being able to make fun of herself and different situations.
Brey has been my best friend all through college and will always be a best friend, no matter where life takes us. I know I can count on that.
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