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How did you meet your best friend?

by Shayne Traviss

The way in which we meet the closest people to us has always been intriguing to me. Up until that point you lived a life without their presence and as time marches on you wonder how you could have ever lived without them.

9 years ago, today I met my best friend Crystal-Lee. We shared a similar path and a mutual friend. They were on their way with ‘the girls’ to see Oprah Winfrey in Hamilton, Ontario and I had received my own ticket from Oprah’s team as she had recently followed me on Twitter.

Crystal-Lee was resistant, adamant to not have me join their ‘girls’ weekend and I was resistant to travel on my own. So, my first impression, was, well, this isn’t going to work out well…

Long story short, she caved, I joined them, and the two of us tethered immediately.

Through almost a decade of trails and triumphs what emerges amongst it all is the desire that both of us had to show up for each other no matter what.

Conflict is inevitable if we allow ourselves to dive deep into our relationships and only those willing to be uncomfortable and do the work survive.

We’re not the kind of people who tell each other what they want to hear, and so, you can only imagine the triggers and emotional drama; disagreements were had, and tears were shed, but we grew through it. Each of us with the desire to see ourselves and each other (however messy) and reach for higher ground, together.

I remember one sunny day as we hiked the red rocks in Sedona, Arizona the two of us (incognito; she a Lesbian Mountie and I, the Prime Minister of Canada… LOL) exhausted with the lives we’d taken a pause from. We laughed and laughed and laughed. So hard I think I peed a little, ha-ha! We had taken the journey with a Guide (who I quote said we were the ‘oddest, most authentic and memorable’ tour he has ever led and that to that day he had never laughed so hard in his life) and two complete strangers: one a famous cardiologist’s wife from Texas, and the other a librarian from Manhattan. Two rather conservative woman who had no idea what they were in for. As both Crystal-Lee and I, are, well, let me just say unconventionally, radically authentic and can sometimes have an irreverent sense of humour.

But the lesson learned here, and throughout our friendship has been to allow people, each other, to show up fully as who they are without judgment. And to hold space for that, because we’re all perfectly imperfect, lovely, and messy all at the same time. As the two women we assumed would be offended by our irreverence we’re in fact intrigued by it and welcomed us as their guests in Texas and Manhattan, anytime!

Our relationships shouldn’t be without boundaries yet without openness and radical authenticity there isn’t room for growth and real connection, and how grateful I’ve been for friends like Crystal-lee, the experiences we’ve shared and the lessons that have made us the people we are today!

How did you meet your best friend?

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