“Puedes contar tus amigas en una mano y te van a sobrar dedos.” - Estela Martinez (My Mami)
I heard this all the time growing up, and as a natural born social butterfly, I resented this dicho. I am a girl’s girl. I ride and I die for my homegirls and have had so many beautiful friendships in this life. I have memories as far back as I can remember of comadres that have shaped me.
Now, of course sometimes relationships go left, and there have been lessons learned along the way, but for the most part I have been very hashtag blessed with sisterhood.
I am going through something very hard right now, something that I can’t believe is unveiling as I’m typing this, something that has my heart breaking as I figure out how to move on.
I don’t know how or when it happened, but the friendship with a comadre that I thought I would grow old with has drifted so far apart that it is completely unrecognizable.
I’ve struggled with sharing this, because while I do share a lot of my personal life (everything from the struggles to the highlights), she does not, so I write this carefully out of respect. I imagine if you know me personally, you’ll quickly identify who this is and yes, you’re right, it is crazy.
We met at an old job, sharing space in a very white environment and bonding over rolling our eyes at the same asinine comments. I believe in best friends to this day, but until I met her, I really didn’t understand that you have friends, then best friends, then friends that are more like family, and then-- if you’re lucky, you find yourself with a platonic soulmate. & that really was her. We had common ground in ways that was difficult to find with others. Our parents-- all from Mexico, we grew up translating and navigating. Siblings, same #, same genders. Noses, both prominent. Our hoods, although different but very much alike, seemed to shape each of us. She is from the West Side, and I am from the South Side, like primas. That all caused a lot of people around us shame, shame to be from schools that people avoided, shame for knowing Spanish before English, shame for being Chicanas-- but in meeting each other we quickly learned that those things did not hold shame for us.
Our first friend date was spent at my very favorite bar, a place I carefully shared because much like me, Bar America was unabashedly unpolished. It was dusty and worn and played music that you didn’t hear unless you went looking for it. BA was one of my favorite places on earth. She loved it and we spent that night was spent laughing as we learned each other. From then on we were like bookends, never really far apart, and people either loved it or hated it.
Laughter was always at the center of our friendship, I have never in my life met someone that understood my humor and quirk so quickly and who made me laugh so easily. It’s a hard thing to describe, but those that were around us saw it and felt it immediately.
I can’t and won’t go into the heart of it all... alllllllll of the amazing times and some of THE most difficult times. I will say that after swallowing the news of my mother’s cancer diagnosis, she was the first person I called. All the milestones, all the fuck ups, all the heartaches- she was the first person I called.
We lasted a solid 14 years. This would have been our quinceanera season, but after a full year of getting blown off, I have finally accepted that it’s over. The hardest part? I have no idea why.
As Very That has grown and changed, I have too, but I have tried my hardest to stick by those that matter most. She was one of those few. I tried to make myself available as often as I could, and even times when I couldn’t. I tried, I can honestly say that I went against my better judgement, swallowed my pride and tried time and time again to no avail.
There will be a place in my heart for that friendship that gave me so much. There will always be a place in my heart for all the travesuras we shared, for all the fears and tears and late night confessions.
I have to hold my head high, though.
I must admit that I gave myself a lot of time to write this, to fully understand that it’s over and that I can write about my own truth.
What have I learned?
*That friendship is still beautiful, that it is necessary, and that although one door has closed, there are so many others open.
*I am a great friend. I know this, I learned how to be a friend from my mama. There was a time that I was so embarrassed to have lost this friendship that, in a way, helped shaped me, but it was out of my hands. I know I show up for mine.
*Losing a friend can hurt more than losing a partner. A few years ago I went through a really terrible break up… One that shook my world. I was so devastated and really felt like I lost myself. This one, though? This one hurt way more.
*Just because you value something in a certain way, does not mean they do too. Say that, swallow that.
*I have every right to feel all the feels.
If you are going through this, I am so sorry bbygrl. I know it hurts, but believe me— it will get better. If you have been through this, what did you learn? How did things change for you?