Thought Catalog
June 15, 2017

Dear Best Friend, This Is What I Promise You

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I promise that when you’re tired, I will go to battle for you. Whether that’s against an angry lover, the antagonistic voices of enemies, the weight of too many deadlines and demands, or the doubt in your own mind, I promise that I will find silly things to make you laugh. I promise that I will tell you stories that distract you. I promise that I will hold you in my arms until the weight feels just a little lighter, until you remember, once again, your inner strength.

I promise that when you fall, I’ll be the one next to you brushing you off and helping you to your feet. I won’t stand off to the side. I won’t stand above you, chiding you for your mistakes. I won’t stand behind you, just out of reach. I won’t act as if I’m perfect, or haven’t slipped along my own path. I’ll fall next to you. I’ll let the world take me down, too, by your side. And I’ll make you laugh, I’ll take your mind far away from your pain, I’ll help you to your feet so you can start again.

I promise that when your heart is broken, I will lift your spirits. I will listen to your cries. I will give you my shoulder for every tear. I will let you fall asleep in my embrace until you feel whole again. I will remind you of all the parts of you that are beautiful and strong. And I will keep showing you your worth until you start to believe again. Until you realize that no relationship, no person, no brokenness can define who you are.

I promise to make you smile. I promise to remember all of our inside jokes and recite them to you when you’re stuck in a hospital bed, dreading your days. I promise to tease you and joke with you when you need a pick-me-up. I promise to call you when you’re sick and make you laugh about our embarrassing moments and silly memories. Whenever you’re not looking at the bright side, whenever a frown falls across your face, whenever you’re fighting the storms of this life, I promise to be your joy.

I promise I will follow through. When we say we’re going to see one another, when we make plans to meet up, when we tell one another that we’ll be there, I’ll be there. When I say something, I’ll be intentional and carry each statement to fruition. I won’t get too busy or too distracted to answer the phone. I won’t get so caught up in my own drama that I neglect what you need.

I promise to be consistent. I won’t be a fickle friend, only there when it’s convenient, only available when there’s something I need. I promise to be there, be present, be near in both good times and bad. I promise not to walk away when the road is uncharted and difficult, when there’s miles that lay between us, when there’s doubt clouding your mind. No matter what comes between us, I’ll be the person you count on, the confidant you need.

I promise to be tough on you. Not in the way that breaks you down, but builds you up. I won’t sugarcoat the truth in a way that doesn’t strengthen or benefit you. I won’t treat you delicately, lying just to tell you what you want to hear. I won’t be hurtful, but I won’t bullsh*t when it comes to the truth. I’ll love you, so sometimes I’ll give you a little tough love.

I promise to listen. To your perspective, to your side of the argument, to the things you’re ranting to me on a random night. When you need to spill your guts, when you need to vent, when you just need an ear on the other line of the phone, I’ll be there.

I promise to stay. Even when you distance yourself, even when you shove me away, even when you don’t appreciate my willingness to put you first, still, I’ll be the friend you need. Sometimes I’ll have to be there for you from afar; sometimes you’ll push me to the point where I’ll have to step back to keep myself from getting hurt, but I’ll still care. I’ll still answer. I’ll still pay attention. I’ll still support you. I’ll still speak of you with nothing but kindness. I’ll still love you, no matter what. TC mark


Marisa Donnelly is a poet and author of the book, Somewhere on a Highway, available here.

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