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An Open Letter to My Best Friend

An Open Letter to My Best Friend: "You Are the Gayle to My Oprah"

Dear Best Friend,

If you're reading this, I hope you know how much you mean to me. I hope you understand how valuable you are to my life and growth, as a woman and friend. I am fiercely independent and outspoken, but so are you. Watching you work hard to achieve your dreams is inspirational. You empower me to strive for greatness even in the midst of adversity because that's what women do. We balance life, career, motherhood, relationships, and social disadvantages and still manage to get stuff done.

Looking back on my 20s is tough. That time of my life reshaped everything I knew about myself. I thought I'd accomplished things with the grace of God, hard work, perseverance, and the never-ending will to succeed — which is partly true. When I think back to the most stringent and most significant times in my life, you have been there; with a bottle of Champagne, an encouraging word, or Ben & Jerry's or on the phone for hours listening to me without judgment.

Until I met you, I'd never had girlfriends I felt were genuinely rooting for me. I always felt an unspoken competition with the girlfriends who came into my life as a young adult. I also never did well with cliques. I was usually pushed out soon after I'd joined. Real girlfriends seemed only to be a part of fictional television characters' storylines, but you defy that myth.

You are not just my friend; you are the Gayle to my Oprah.

I understand that being friends with me presents its challenges. I am fiercely protective, am socially awkward (I hate big groups of people), and never want to see you mistreated. My blunt and matter-of-fact delivery is not always what you need to hear, so, I am working on that. But I will never stop reminding you that you deserve the best out of life and the people you let into it. My friendship with you has taught me that everything isn't black and white and that it is OK to explore the gray areas that life throws our way. Well, sometimes.

You and I see the world differently, which allows us to have spirited debates. I realize that social stigmas impact us individually, but our ability to hear one another's point of view helps our friendship flourish. Our worldviews may be different, but the one thing I know for sure is that you are my best friend. They say friends are the family we get to choose. I am forever grateful that our paths crossed. You are not just my friend; you are the Gayle to my Oprah.


A Grateful Friend

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