One Year Later…

I realized yesterday, while sitting on the couch watching the PBS concert of Les Miz (because, yes, that’s how I take advantage of a lazy Sunday afternoon and yes, that musical gives me chills and yes, it’s true, Nick Jonas plays Marius but no, that is not the {only} reason I tuned in), that it was the first birthday of this blog. I remember writing the first post. I was on a plane en route to LA and hammered out some 300 words about my quest.

A year later, it seems a good time to revisit those words and see how they hold up.

“I am a married white female searching for a best friend forever.” Check.

“I have two lifelong BFFs, Sara and Callie, who I met when I was 10 and 14, at camp and high school respectively. I have seven super-close friends from college.  I have dear pals from high school whose weddings I’d never miss and babies (well, so far there’s only one baby) I’m dying to meet.  There is no shortage of shoulders to cry on. Here’s the catch: I live in Chicago.  Sara and Callie live in New York City. My Northwestern roommates live in Boston, San Francisco, New York, and St. Louis. The high schoolers are in D.C. and (you guessed it), Manhattan. My closest friends are everywhere but here.” Still true. If one of my friends would like to have a baby soon please, that would be great. I need more little ones to gush over.

“I moved to Chicago with my now-husband after we both decided a long-distance relationship (he was at law school in Philly, I was working in New York) just wouldn’t do. We’ve been here for nearly three years and in that time have made a few friends. Primarily couples, with whom we catch up over dinner  every few months. But on a Sunday morning when I want to grab an omelette over girl talk, I’m at a loss. My Chicago friends are the let’s-get-dinner-on-the-books-a-month-in-advance type.  I’m looking for someone to invite over to watch The Biggest Loser or to text ‘pedicure in half an hour’ on a Saturday morning. To me, that’s what BFFs are. Not just people who know your innermost secrets, but the ones up for grabbing a bite on a whim because they love being with you just that much, and getting together feels easy and natural rather than a chore you need to pencil in.”

Here’s where things have changed (aside from the fact that we’ve been here nearly four years now). Whereas a year ago I’d made “few” new friends, now I have a hearty helping of them. I’ve got a virtual phone book full of brunch pals, though I’m still working toward that Sunday morning last-minute call. These days I wonder if that’s a pipe dream anyway. One thing I’ve learned over the last twelve months is that it’s hard for people to make last minute plans, including myself. And that definition of BFF I wrote back then? The innermost-secrets-meets-playdate-on-a-whim bit? That’s a work in progress. It’s constantly evolving.

“So I’m on the hunt for Miss Right. A person who can fill the one void in the otherwise great life I’ve set up in the Windy City. I always thought friendships blossom naturally, like at summer camp and in school. In the grown-up world, apparently this isn’t the case. So I’m taking matters in my own hands.

This blog chronicles my quest.”


A big thank you to everyone who has been reading this blog for the past year—whether you hopped on board day one or yesterday. The fact that you come back each morning is the best blog birthday present of all. And I hope you’ll continue to stop by—big things are to come before we turn two!

Today’s question: What is your definition of a BFF?

And as my birthday present to you, my favorite song from Les Miz (just ask Matt who had to listen to me belting it out all day):


Filed under The Search

20 responses to “One Year Later…

  1. katieleigh

    Oh, how I love Les Miz. Wish I’d caught this concert on TV!

    Happy blog birthday, Rachel. And as for a BFF definition…hmm. I’ll have to think about that one. Let me get back to you. 🙂

  2. Happy Blogoversary Rachel! I enjoy reading your posts and can’t wait until the book debuts. As for my best friend definition, it is still a work in progress. I think it changes as I get older.

  3. Beth

    Rach, Congrats! One year and what a year it’s been. So proud of you!

  4. I’m sorry…Nick Jonas plays Marius?!?!?! I will need to listen to him and ponder how I feel about that…

    Happy blog birthday to you!!! I must say, I do enjoy this blog of yours very much. Especially since I will be friendless in a matter of months as we move to San Antonio, TX for our next station in the Air Force. Well, I will have my little sister there, but we can only go so long before we’re back to being 6 and 8 years old and bickering and pestering each other to death. You know?

    • I DO know! I’ve seen that traveling back in time thing happen with sisters. Good luck with your move!

      And I know, Nick Jonas was a questionable choice. He certainly didn’t bring the house down but I think he held his own.

  5. LizC

    Totally watched most of that last night (I was flipping between it and Indiana Jones on USA). I think my favorite song is either “Do You Hear the People Sing” or “Who Am I?”

    I’m always hesitant to label anybody a BFF but I think, for me, the definition is someone whom I know will be there for me if I need them. It’s not necessarily someone I can call at the last minute for lunch or a movie because sometimes you can’t always count on that person for the big stuff.

    It’s the people who have known me the longest so they know pretty much everything there is to know. They’re the ones who made me dance with my crush at the 8th grade dance because I was too scared to ask, they’re the ones who I cried in front of when my dad was diagnosed with cancer because I couldn’t cry in front of my parents, they saw me with horrible haircuts and braces.

    It’s perhaps unfair to the friends I’ve met later in life because there’s no way for them to have that history with me but I don’t think I’ve ever felt comfortable labeling anyone I’ve met in the last 10 years as BFF.

  6. Annie

    Congratulations on your first year!

  7. Becky

    Has it really been a year??? Been reading from the beginning and cheering you on in your search – and have enjoyed your insight/stories! Happy blogversary! And yes, channel 21 AND channel 11 were on yesterday as I belted out more than one of the songs from Les Mis… fyi, Nick Jonas started his career by playing Gavroche on Broadway and Lea Salonge played Eponine in the 10 anniversary concert and then Fantine in this one (25th anniversary). I lead a really boring life!

  8. Ana

    Congrats on the blog-aversary!

    As for the BFF definition, I agree with LizC above—its the person you can always always count on for the big things. Someone you feel comfortable telling anything. Its obviously ideal when that person is local & up for last minute plans, but I don’t think the two have to go together. I kind of wrote off a good work friend as a true BFF because she lives in the burbs & has a huge family & can’t really hang out outside of work hours without a LOT of advance planning. But I can literally tell her anything, and get a great ear & wonderful support & lots of laughs—honestly, isn’t that what a best friend is for?
    Maybe the “ideal” Sex and the City or Friends-type friendship IS a pipedream. As everything else in life, reality is often a lot more complicated than television (and, usually, less hilarious!) Instead of one “best friend” that fulfills every single one of your friendship needs, you have multiple friends that take different roles in your life. The beauty of this is that you can keep expanding and changing as your life changes, instead of closing the door because you’ve already got “the one”.

    My fave ever Les Mis song (which I’ve now got running through my head, thankyouverymuch): On My Own.

  9. Lorrie Paige

    Happy Blog Anniversary! 🙂

    What’s my definition of a BFF? I’ll quote from my own blog, when I answered that question a year ago and my definition still stands:

    A BFF is someone you can always count on, no matter where you are in the world. Someone you’re in contact with regularly–always at least once a week–not because you both feel you must as a friend or that you both should, but because you want to; you can’t wait to tell what’s been going on in each other’s life! It’s like when in grade school and you can’t wait to see your best friend to run and tell her what’s going on. You miss each other when you’re not around each other. True friendship is just like a wonderful marriage–but without the sex. You can say anything to each other without feeling embarrassed or afraid, and spend a lot of time together if you both live in the same town. Someone you can totally trust; you can tell them a secret and will they never tell anyone. Each other always wanting the best for the other, without any jealousy. Someone who’s loyal, dependable, supportive, encouraging, listens to you and will always be there for you. Someone who fights for you and fights alongside with you. You respect each other. And even when you don’t agree with each other, can still respect each other’s beliefs and remain the best of friends.

  10. Happy Blog-a-versary. 🙂 Your blog is one of my favourites (and I read alot of them).

    I have long defined my best friendship as the one where I am comfortable being around the person and not saying a word. In such a chatty culture (which I realized when I lived in Japan – a very unchatty culture) I think the ability to be quiet around a person and still feel comfortable is a very rare thing.

  11. Happy Blogiversary!

    I love the idea of someone to make last minute plans with – because I’m definitely the type of person who tends to wait to make plans and then wonders why there’s no one to hang out with because everyone else seems to have made plans eons ago. I also think it’s the people who will be there when you do make plans – the ones who enjoy your company enough that they’ll make it a priority to be there when you want to do something. I think that is an indicator that they’ll be there when you need them, as well. And the ones who will accept you for who you are, faults and all, even when that person isn’t always the sweetest version of yourself and you wouldn’t blame them for being a little less than a fan of who you were in that moment.

    And for me – it also needs to be someone who pushes me to be a better person and step out of my comfort zone. Because I’m right on that edge of introvert and extrovert – I like being around people and trying new adventures, but it terrifies me to initiate things. I tend to gravitate to the person who will initiate things and drag me along.

  12. Darlene

    I’m a total musical geek and was loving the Les Mis broadcast last night! It’s scary how I can still remember most of the lyrics. I thought Nick Jonas was ok (maybe a little young) but I HATED the guy playing Javert. Too young, not menacing enough, too attractive. 🙂

    Anyway. To me, a best friend has less to do with someone being available on short notice for fun (hell, I cannot do that so I’ve no right to expect that from someone else) and more to do with how I feel when I am around here. Can I be totally myself, and not have to put on an act? Am I accepted for who I am, or is she trying to change or “improve” me? Can I talk to her easily about weighty and frivolous stuff? Is she dependable and trustworthy? Can I count on her when times are tough? Those are all indicators to me of what makes a close friend.

  13. Congratulations on a year!

  14. Suzannah

    Best blog ever!!!, just love it, look forward to reading every day !!
    I think a best friendship is person, who you have no doubt in the world feels the same about you as you feel about them….they can see you at your worst, and you are so glad to see them, not worried what they are thinking….you can ask them to last minute plans, or make plans a year in advance, either way you are both excited & don’t feel silly saying so!!! ……
    You can just be yourself, with no self censorship
    or maybe just somebody who will see a movie they are not interested in at all….just because they know you want to….
    a best friend is a wonderful thing!!

  15. oooooooooooooooooooook

  16. my website is not on the web yet so ya

  17. Michele

    I don’t think the sunday last minute call is too much to hope for! Keep working towards it!

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