Letter To My Best Friend

Eleven years ago from the writing of this post I met my best friend, Dayne Stabile, in our high school statistics class senior year. Mr. Nin's class for first period. There's a lot to say about that class and senior year, but none of which applies to this story. Dayne and I occasionally talked in class but it was not until we started college that we started to talk more and more.

We had a mutual friend named Justin who we hung around with as a trio. As we started college in August 2006 we would meet up on campus and occasionally go to lunch, sometimes blowing off class to goof off. College, right? As time passed Justin started getting into some things Dayne and I did not want to be a part of, so we hung out with him less and less until it was eventually just Dayne and I. 

By 2007, we were hanging out almost every day and by 2008 we were inseparable. We went to bars and parties together 90% of the time, went to the gym together, carpooled to classes we had together, becoming closer and closer. In 2010 my parents moved back to Texas from Florida, and at the time, I was not in a position to support myself. So, I moved with them. We stayed in Florida a few days longer than we planned because I did not want to miss Dayne's LPN pinning ceremony. Dayne and I spent our last night together and when it was time to move, I went north, he south.

In early 2011 I hit a pretty bad depression. It was unusually hard to make friends in Texas and I was missing my life and my friends, Dayne especially. I was sad we were apart, but thankful I had a friend like him in my life. So, I decided to write him a letter. It took me three hours to write and two weeks to perfect. Every day I would read it and make changes, until no changes were made the last three days. I decided it was good. I printed the letter, signed it by hand, and mailed it to him, not saying a word that there was something on its way.

A few days later I got a text from Dayne telling me he got something. I played dumb and asked what to which he replied, "You know. I got your letter man. Honestly I teared up a little as I read it. Thank you." It meant a lot to me that I poured my heart out in this letter and he reacted the way he did.

Today, we are still best friends and recently took a trip to Canada where our friendship grew a thousand times over, something I never thought possible because I thought we were already as close as we could get. I am so fortunate to have someone in my life who understands me, supports me, and never lets me down. True friends are hard to find these days, but I know I have one in Dayne. Below, you will see the letter in its original form as I sent him in 2011 and pictures I have of us from over the years.

Dayne Joseph Stabile,

My best friend, confidant, brother. As you know, over the last few months I have been struggling with being away from Florida, over reflecting on memories, and living in the past, but there is a reason for causing myself that pain. I am pretty sure you know just how much you mean to me, but I am not so sure you know the full extent as to why.

Let me give you a short history lesson you already know that will help explain the extent to “the why.” In high school, I drank too much, hung out with people who are now stuck in the same place they were five years ago, and while they may be grown up a little more, they still lack the kind of motivation you have passed unto me. I became too focused on drinking and impressing others that I got lost in the shell of someone who was nothing like me. My parents raised me to be understanding of others’ feelings, to be nice, to help others and do the right thing. I have been that way all of my life until I got tired of helping others and decided to focus on myself.

When we first started hanging out, I thought you were too good of a person to be my friend, until we started hanging out more and more and you started to rub off on me. You had goals, knew what you wanted to do with your life, and I was trying to pass my basic classes, trying to care even a little bit about school. Your dedication to fitness and school undoubtedly had immense impact on my life, by trying to now fit in with you, Bobby, Josh, these people who had goals, and I did not yet even know what it was I wanted for my own life.

In March 2009, you kept mentioning me going to the gym with you, which I had been looking at that since the end of 2008. In a way you acted as my personal trainer, starting me out with basic exercises and helping guide me in the right direction mentally and physically. This was something I was never passionate about, that being becoming toned, tan, and tenacious, until I started seeing real results eight months later. Explosive weekly gains in strength and sudden changes in mass gave me confidence and passion in lifting weights, but also carried over into my life, to make tough decisions and power through tough times, something I have to do now.

We become the kind of people we surround ourselves with, and as you know I like to surround myself with successful people. I can without a doubt tell you had it not been for you opening my eyes to new music, dragging me into Hollister, Abercrombie & Fitch, Buckle, PacSun, that I would still be wearing baggy t-shirts and jeans, and getting drunk with losers every weekend around a bonfire, lost, swirling around in a bottle of liquor, and there lie the extremity of why you mean so much to me, because you saved my life.

You know me better than anyone else does. Other people can say, “Hey man, I know you are upset.” Well no shit, when I am crying, when I have a huge wrinkle in my forehead, it is quite obvious. Only you seem to know when something hurts me, or impacts me in a certain way, you seem to be the only one who can see through my facade. You are one of the few people who does not get offended by the things I say, the way I am, or the things I do. When most give up, jump to insults or judgment, you are there to back me up and stand by my side, no matter what the consequences may be. We have a mutual respect for each other’s desires, beliefs, and opinion, something I value greatly.

People are astonished when I tell them I have never fought with my best friend. Everyone has their falling outs, but we seem to be better than that. We have always had a sense about each other and an open line of communication that kept us in check. With the overreaction of Paige and the stupid girl battle of early 2010, no one or thing has or can get between us, and that is truly remarkable when you stop and think in the last five years, the only fight we’ve had is a sucker punch in a bowling alley!

We have indubitably had a hell of a lot of good times, 2008 being one of the greatest years of my life, when for some reason I peaked in confidence, having the courage to act like a complete fool in front of two sexy Albanians at the beach. I look back on these memories and I smile, feeling fortunate that I have someone in my life that I’ve been able to experience so many things with already. Looking back at the summer of 2008, pretty much living at the beach that summer, doing a lot of partying, watching the Olympics, getting fired from our jobs, a lot of good memories that made such a great year, even with the job loss. In 2009 doing it all over again, having classes together, meeting two of the bitchiest, craziest girls this planet has to offer. Coming to 2010, where I had to move, but we made the very best of it, not frowning on the separation until we had to go different directions on 19. All the music that instantly sparks memories and emotion. We have had a pretty crazy, inspiring, exhilarating past and there is no telling what the future brings, whether we are near or far, we’ll always be close friends, making the best of every situation.

We have a bond that people spend their whole lives looking for, mostly in the opposite sex as a life partner. I like to think of you as my life partner, friend, brother, and guide at times. I have no idea where I would be without you, but I know where I have come and what I have achieved with you by my side. I’ve struggled with this move because of you, because being away from someone you spent every day with, did everything with, is unthinkable. I know had I gone down the other road and stayed around that old crowd, this move would be no problem. Leaving things we consider great, precious, and cherished is a very hard thing to do. You have always been here for me, no matter what, and for that, I sincerely love you.

I look forward to seeing you this summer, creating more memories, betting more pitchers of beer, and strengthening the amazing friendship we have even more. Thank you for being such an amazing and inspirational person and friend.

Your friend,