Two of my very best friends started out as enemies.
The first I met in middle school. Ashley and I played basketball together. We played the same position, meaning we were always in competition. Also, our best friends were friends with each other. You’d think that would make us one big happy group, but instead it led to jealousy. I can’t for the life of me understand what the 12 year old me was thinking; I just know that Ashley was my mortal enemy. Somewhere down the line in high school we found ourselves in a few classes together without any of our other friends. This forced us to *gasp* actually get to know each other. Turns out we had a lot in common. I’m very thankful because she is now a lifelong friend.
The second enemy turned friend is Najla. I met her on the first day of my freshman orientation at Purdue. She was loud, bubbly, and introduced herself to me by asking if I wanted her to show me how to check my mail in the dorm mail room. I was tired and grumpy from the move, so I told her I knew how to check the mail and shut the door to my room in her face. Wow, what a jerk, right?! For the first month of the school year, I avoided her. I’m not sure what transitioned her from enemy to friend, except maybe proximity. She lived two doors down and she had a flare for drama. I’m pretty drama free, so listening to hers was very entertaining. After getting to know her, I now value her friendship and unique perspective on life a great deal.
Why did Ashley and Najla turn out to be such great friends?
They are honest.
I can always count on both of these girls to tell me exactly what they’re thinking. They don’t waste time sugar coating things to protect my feelings or prevent an argument. After all, we started our (enemy) relationship being brutally honest and critical of one another.
They know my triggers, but don’t exploit them.
They both know my weak spots because as previous enemies, they made it their job to expose them. Now they use that knowledge for good rather than evil, like to help me get through a difficult situation.
They know the real me.
When you start a friendship (or relationship) you want to present yourself in the best possible light. You might try to be someone you’re not or feign interest in things that bore you. With an enemy, you have no reason not to recklessly be yourself, so they are getting to know the real you.
I don’t make a practice of having enemies, but I’m thankful what’s become of these.