Column: To the person who changed my life

‘I want to thank him for doing the best thing anyone’s ever done for me.’


“I thought by being grown up, I’d know how to deal with everything life throws at me.” Courtesy of Carol Tujardon.

“That is not how you should handle a situation,” an important friend once told me during a rough time in my life when I was 14.

All I remember is that I was crying, which I hated because I was told it makes you weak.

Those words changed who I was. I began to have trust issues and began to build walls around my heart.

“This is not the worst thing you can go through,” a former friend told me when I was 15. “You should just grow up.”

It felt like I was punched in the gut.

The realization hit me that I didn’t know how to handle this situation because I’ve never gone through this before.

Someone I cared about entered the Army and I was severely scared for what could happen to that person. I was hurt, angry and sad at that friend because of what they said. They were supposed to help me out through this, not tell me to grow up.

And worst of all I felt the pressure to grow up. I didn’t know how to deal with this at that moment. I thought by being grown up, I’d know how to deal with everything life throws at me.

“Look, you’re an amazing girl,” my best friend told me weeks ago. “But you’re still not mature yet.’’

Wow, he’s like everyone else.

“I still want to be there in your life as your friend to help you become a better person because I care about you a lot. And I love you, even though I don’t exactly tell you that.”

I was surprised from the words coming out of his mouth. No one has ever said that to me. Usually they’d brush me off or, worst of all, leave. Truthfully, I thought because my best friend had seen me at my worst, he’d leave. But he didn’t.

And for once in my life, I felt like I had a true friend.

Every day, I’m thankful he came into my life. He changed me completely. And I want to thank him for doing the best thing anyone’s ever done for me.

All my life, people have told me to grow up, and the truth is, I don’t know how. I’m still not grown up. I know I still have a long road ahead of me to mature, but my instincts tell me with him in my life I can grow into a young wonderful woman, the way I’ve always wanted to.

Because I’ve had more supportive friends in my life, I’ve learned it’s alright to cry and be weak. I’ve also learned to slowly break the walls I built around my heart, maybe not fully, but enough for me to start trusting people again.

As time went by, I learned it’s OK not to plan every single thing in my life. I know I can still plan aspects of my life, but not every single detail because plans change and it’s important to live life in the moment and enjoy the present.

If the time comes and we choose different paths where we are no longer in each other’s lives anymore, I’ll be alright because I had him in my life. For the better. I’ll leave with all the amazing memories and bond he and I shared.

I want him to remember one thing: whatever happens, if we become best friends for life or simply drift apart, I’ll always love him.