Beyond the Heart

by Ben Fiore


As you may know, today is “National Best Friends Day”.  Usually “holidays” like this are dumb to me.  But this year really got me thinking.  With how much of an epidemic mental illness is nowadays and depression, it never hurts to tell people what they’re worth.  So if I could ask you one shameless favor today, send this article to your best friends.

I have always considered my friends my second family as I imagine most people have.  And that is perfectly fine.  Our friends are the family we get to choose.  They are the unbinding yet unrelenting relationships that turn out to be the most rewarding because it’s a mutual agreement to make a non-mandatory  connection work.  Your friends are your outlet to pour things out to that you can’t bring to your family.  Sometimes they are an escape from your family itself, which we all need occasionally.  Friends are so awesome because you and them are typically in similar situations in your life and give you advice as your peer and for what is in your best interest.  Friends CHOOSE to care about each other in the way we do.  It doesn’t matter the quantity of friends you have or the amount of time you’ve known them.  It’s about the quality of person they are and how you value them.  Whether you have a lot of special different connections for different reasons like I do, or your small group or even one person are the only people this applies to, let them get the credit they deserve.  So here is my message “Dear Best Friend”.

Dear best friend, thank you for accepting me.  Thank you for trusting me.  Thank you for giving me good, and even the bad advice.  Thank you for crashing my pity parties.  Thank you for sulking with me when it all crashes down on me in my darkest days.  Thank you for supporting me even if you think I’m being an idiot.  Thank you for arguing with me just to make me more open minded.  Thank you for pretending to like what I’m into to be a team player and avoid pissing me off.  Thank you for laughing at memes that we  both know aren’t THAT funny with me.  Thank you for introducing me to new music.  Thank you for random trips in the middle of the night.  Thank you for looking out for me when I have a bad love interest, and encouraging me to stick with it when I find the right one.  I may have many friends but a BEST friend is different.  You know why in your own unique way.  The code of secrecy is sacred in a friendship.  Thank you for keeping those secrets safe.  Thank you for being someone my family likes to have around.  Thank you for being the sibling that my parents never popped out.  I appreciate how you accept me being a nerd, or weird, or a dick from time to time.  Thanks for laughing with me in my drunk escapades instead of at me.  Thanks for telling me I’m getting fat even when I clearly don’t wanna hear it.  I’d do almost anything for you and that’s a fact jack.  Thank you for being the James Franco to my Seth Rogan.  And most importantly, thank you most of all for keeping in touch.  You my friend, in the most sincerest of ways, are the tits.

You may fade from your friends, and that’s ok.  We’re supposed to as we grow.  But never let that distance or separation change your heart towards those people.  I went a different path by going to the military, but I still am in touch with my closest childhood friends.  There are so many gaps in those friendships, but when we do reconnect, we never missed a beat.  I have met some of the greatest people I’ve ever known in the military.  Just like you may have in college or at a job or hobby.  Just because we didn’t grow up with them doesn’t mean they aren’t just as if not more valuable than our childhood friends.  Remember it’s about the quality and the experiences you went through that build a relationship.

So whoever this brings to mind for you, let them know.  Friends, I love you.  You are important.  You have greater value to my mental and emotional state than you’ll ever know.  I’ve kept you around because of that.  Now if you become toxic, I’ll cut your ass off so watch it.  I’m kidding of course.  I digress, there is a simple equation for how we are able to compute in this world today. It’s 50% family nd 50% friends.  We need them to balance us out.  So simply put, try to stay friends as long as you can.  Happy best friends day, to you.  Cheers.