When I was about seven years old, my best friend found a new best friend. It was life-altering at the time, although I probably never said a word. I felt deeply alone for the first time in my short life. Lost without a friend to act as a mirror. Because I didn't yet know that I was meant to be my own mirror. When I read this mom's post about her 5-year-old daughter losing her best friend, it really struck a chord with me. Because it's so easy to brush off the very real, deep connection of a childhood friendship and the loneliness that can descend when it ends. I'm so glad Allison Kimmey chose a different path with her daughter. A path that, while acknowledging the sadness of losing a friend, will lead her towards something infinitely more important.
Mom of two Allison Kimmey took to Instagram earlier this week to share a story about her 5-year-old daughter Cambelle. It seems little Cambelle was in tears when Kimmey picked her up from a party because her best friend had moved on to find a new best friend of her own. And Kimmey decided to take the bull by the horns and have a heart-to-heart with her daughter about the most valuable friendship any person can have; with themselves.
Kimmey shared her conversation with Cambelle on Instagram, where she explained that she would have friends all her life. Some would stay and some might leave:
But there is one person that you spend every second of the day with. You have sleepovers with her every night. You do her hair, she does your makeup. She dances with you, she does art with you, she swims with you, she giggles with you and she cries with you. Do you know who I am talking about?
You! You are the person that you spend the most time with, forever, and it is important to remember that you always have a best friend in yourself.
At the end of the day, Kimmey explained to her daughter, the best gift a person can give themselves is to be their own best friend. And as she explained in her Instagram post:
When I had this conversation with my daughter it was also a reminder to myself. There’s so many things to achieve and people to compare ourselves to. There’s so many ways in which we can feel we are lacking or not good enough. And there are countless times we put our worth into relationships with others and the love we receive from THEM.
Kimmey's post has been met with gratitude from people who needed a gentle reminder that they can be their own best friend as well. Followers posted messages that read:
We have to remember this every single day! Our kids learn from us how to love, care and stand up for themselves and the only way they learn it is from watching their parents.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. This spoke volumes to me as a Mum to two gorgeous girls myself this was what I needed to read. 💕🙏🏼
I needed this today. I've been dealing with a very difficult, narcissistic person and it's been stressful.
Kimmey told Romper that she grew up as an only child, and because of this:
I found it very difficult to make friends. I spent MANY hours at home, by myself. It was my LEAST favorite thing to do. I spent so much time on trying to make others like me, when I didn’t even take the time to learn to like myself. Healing my own inner little girl has always been part of my mission and why I do what I do. I know that we can all find healing as we grow older and wiser, but my deepest desire is to help raise a generation that does not need to recover from their circumstances, but thrives in love, empathy, and conviction in who they are. There are many instances each week that I can use as learning moments, and this was one. When you are dedicated to not repeating the past, every second counts!
It's not easy to be your own best friend, especially when we live in a culture that glorifies self-doubt and self-recrimination. We can spend so much time giving voice to our inner critics that it can be hard to feel genuine love for ourselves.
This conversation Kimmey had with her daughter is one that works for every adult as well. It acts as a timely reminder that it's ok to actually love yourself instead of waiting to find out your value through someone else's lens.