I was sitting on my bed, wearing an oversized sweater that belonged to the girl I thought I loved–who at the time held the title of one of my very close friends. I had pulled the sweater over my knees and was rocking back and forth while my best friend, Jess, sat across from me, waiting patiently.
I’d been acting strange over the past few weeks, bursting into tears at the slightest inconvenience and getting angry over things I never used to mind. While I had already admitted to myself that I had feelings for another girl, I had not yet talked about it with anyone, had not let any of those feelings free, and holding all of that in was clearly starting to get to me. So I told Jess, who’d been concerned about my behavior, that I finally figured out why I’d been acting so odd.
This is a friend who would never judge anyone ever, one of the kindest and most open people I know. Why was I still so scared to say it out loud? I spoke slowly, leaving a few seconds between every word. “I…think…I…really…really…like…someone,” I whispered.
She looked confused at why this was such a dramatic revelation. “Okay, is it someone I know?” I nodded. “Is it a boy I know?” I shook my head. “Is it a girl I know?” I nodded a few times slowly and focused my gaze downward. She smiled the way I knew she would and gave me a hug. She began to ask me more questions, and the more I answered, the easier it became to find words.
With each sentence I spoke about how I felt and who I felt it for, I felt lighter and lighter. We talked for a while, and for the first time I agonized not about the fact that it was a girl I loved but about whether or not she felt the same. It felt good, I mean aside from the excruciating misery that accompanies being in love.
I thought admitting it to myself had been a relief, but having a real conversation about it with somebody else was infinitely better. Humans are not solitary beings. We need support, outlets, hands to hold and laps to lay in.
I believe that night spent talking with Jess, and the months that have since followed, brought us closer than we had ever been in the past seven years of our friendship. Because it was the first time I was all the way me. No walls. No denial. No lies.
My favorite part about that talk with her was that she didn’t turn it into a conversation about my sexuality. She didn’t ask me if I’d felt this way about other girls before or if this meant I would never again be dating boys. Because at that moment it didn’t matter. What mattered was that I felt something for someone, and I needed help figuring out what to do about it.
Jess was there to help me through every moment. She worried with me about my unexplainable outbursts, she tolerated me when I selfishly neglected her to spend time with my crush, she talked me through the anxiety and excitement when everything was still possible, and she comforted me through the deep sadness when everything went wrong. I am forever grateful to you, friend, for loving me through it all.