Pushing Past Borders to Get to Our Best Friends

by Samantha Bacchus McLeod

Life is weird and complicated but when we have certain people in our lives it makes life fun and fantastic. Take for example my relationship with my girl, Tess, I have spent 3 decades pushing past borders to be with my best friend. Tess and I weren’t always friends, way back when I was her babysitter she was more my baby doll, then as a tween she became my fun-killer. But when I needed someone the most in my life, Tess, my charge became the person in charge of my mental health. She became my best friend. I used to look at her, this 10-year-old girl and wonder where she got her wisdom and strength from.

Our friendship grew with us, it meandered as the crow flies, twisting and turning on our emotions and life’s experiences but always we were both aiming for the same goals, the true destination we had set our eyes on was to be the best we could be for each other. We found strength in each other. We shared some secrets but not all, the worst ones we kept to ourselves until it was too late.

We shared jokes and opinions, we shared reviews of books, movies, and our thoughts about people. We shared clothes and music.  We adventured together when we could. We were badass and loved it. When I turned 22, I moved to Canada, and Tess at 16, moved to America.

Our friendship did not grow stronger the further away we were from each other, our friendship just was. She came to stay with me in Alberta, but for a vibrant teen being stuck in the boondocks is not much fun, nor was it fun watching her best friend trapped in a bad marriage. Before she left for the states she reinstated my self-esteem, she took charge in her usual manner; not by telling me what to do, but just by being my mirror, as always.

Friends, what we see in their eyes is what guides us. We see their admiration, their disappointments, their frustration. We see their approval and their love. If one should be lucky enough to have a true friend, life becomes an adventure to share, we feel love so we are never desperate to find it. We let life and love find us because you know what? We have life, we have love, we have that person that will watch our backs and guide us forward at the same time.

Over the decades, we always found ways to fly to each other, to celebrate moments, to spend vacations together. We wrote letters before the arrival of the internet, we spoke on the phone as often as we could. We tapped away at emails on ancient computers, we waited patiently for dial-up to send our must-share news and thoughts and questions. Now we have instant net, cheap calls, Facebook and WhatsApp groups, we have flight deals coming into our inbox daily. Today, we are more connected than ever before, but our friendship is no stronger than it was back then. Our friendship was and will always be as strong as the day we bonded as two equals.

I won the lottery when Tess became my best friend. She’s an American and I am a Canadian but no border can keep us apart, no government can tell us what to do because when we find people we love, respect and need, nothing will stop us from being together.

When I think about the power of one best friend pushing her friend to the highest peak, as she herself climbed that mountain, I am astounded at what she can achieve. These kinds of best friends do not look for glory or gratitude, they look for personal accomplishment in themselves, and in others.

I wonder what we would be capable of, if all best friends push past the borders shoved between us, and came together in common goals. Wow, what a world it would be. The saying is we can choose our friends, not our families. I was lucky on both counts. There’s is one thing I have to say to my best friend Tess, my American sister, my beautiful sibling…thank you.

As we get older we look for meaning to our existence, but I say do not look for purpose, look to your best friends for inspiration and guidance.  


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