We were opposites: she was loud, I was quiet. She was outgoing, I was reserved. She spoke her mind, I kept my thoughts to myself. But somehow, we became friends. And her friendship changed my life.
Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.
Before I met Christy, I was the embodiment of introversion.
For example, my family had attended the same church since I was two, and yet, for over ten years, I felt like a stranger in my own church.
Christy changed all that.
At school, Christy and I had a special place which we called The Hill?—?a little mound of dirt and grass on the far end of the field where we sat and talked and watched the clouds go by.
“Why don’t you ever come to Friday nights at church, huh, Sarah?” she asked one day as we sat on The Hill.
“What is there to do on Friday nights at church?”
“We have youth group. It’s fun. You should come!”
Every time I brushed the notion off, Christy persisted until finally, one night, I did go.
The other kids had seen me around before, and though initially they were curious about my sudden appearance, Christy’s matter-of-fact attitude about my presence soon restored the group dynamics to normalcy.
Because of Christy, church finally began to feel a little more like home.
A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.
I was fortunate enough to attend a school that offered a theater class. The first time I saw the older kids perform, I wanted to be up there with them. But I thought it was impossible. I was too shy, I wasn’t “performer material,” I would mess up.
Once again, it was Christy who pushed me to go beyond the boundaries I imposed upon myself.
“Come audition with me!” she pleaded. “It’ll be fun!”
So on the day of the audition, I found myself outside the theater room, staring in wide-eyed fear at the mass of theatre wannabe’s arranged haphazardly throughout the room. Telling myself I only came to support Christy, I stepped over the threshold.
“Here, you have to fill this out to audition,” a tall, blond boy handed me a blue registration card.
“Um,” I gulped. “I’m only here to watch.” As I looked over the crowd I nearly turned and ran. But then I saw her, waving at me in the middle of it all.
“Hi Sarah!” Christy called across the room.
Suddenly, the embarrassment of singing on stage paled in comparison to the embarrassment of leaving without doing anything.
I grabbed the form, filled it out, and turned it in. The next thing I knew, I’d passed the audition!
Theatre was a turning point in my life. Because of theatre, I became more open, more comfortable with myself and others?—?I am not exaggerating when I say theatre paved the way for my future as a student, performer, and person.
All thanks to the friend who believed in me more than I believed in myself.
Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.
There were times when I considered Christy brutally honest, and perhaps a little maddening?—?especially when she badgered me to do something new. But I soon realised that those very characteristics were the qualities that made her the best friend for me.
It has been many years since the carefree days when Christy and I sat on our hill and talked. It is a bittersweet truth that as time passes, people change, and memories recede into that place where fantasy and reality blend.
But I will always remember my childhood days with fondness, the more so because I was able to share them with one of the best friends a girl could ever wish for.