I don’t really know how it happened. Or when it happened. It just seems to have happened. And it’s interesting, because I wouldn’t ever say I am a collector of sorts or a hoarder, but it seems over the thirty odd years of my life I have managed to collect something quite incredible. Quite wonderful. Quite exquisite, even.
No, it’s not a stamp collection or a priceless array of gems. It is something even more valuable. It seems that I have undoubtedly THE greatest collection of friends in the world. I suppose it’s only by my own decree, but at the end of the day, ‘tis only oneself which needs to believe one’s friends are the greatest, isn’t it?
There are some friends that I remember the exact moment we first spoke. Whether it was after an afternoon university lecture; in the wee hours of the morning at an old-favourite night spot; or in a classroom when I was so fascinated by their gorgeous noodle-like hair that I had to say hello*; the moment in itself wasn’t particularly special, but what has grown from then since is. *While the noodles are no longer present, this adored friend still has the most luscious hair I have ever seen.
Some of my sweetest friends have come through shared employment and all that goes along with that; workplace frustrations, kitchen catch ups over quick cups of tea and even the sporadic, inadvertent gathering in the girls’ bathroom. Others came along quite by accident when I wasn’t even looking, while others have been around as long as my memory can recall.
Two of my ‘oldest’ friends lived in the same street when I grew up so many of my memories with them involved walks from my house to theirs or back again, riding bikes to the local milk bar to buy a few sweets or sharing lifts with our parents to school. Both of these friends I had met before I turned five years old.
Sadly, I have friends that are now only in my memories. They will always have a special place in my heart and when I think of them, which I do from time to time, I smile at their memory.
One of my most beautiful friendships was once, how shall I say, a less than savoury relationship. When we first knew each other about twenty years ago I didn’t really like her. And, if I’m honest, it’s probably fair to say I kind of avoided her as much as possible. Thank goodness we didn’t really have any classes together at school and it was only a ‘playground affair’. (Don’t worry, if she read this now none of this will be new to her as we have one of the most open friendships possible and there are no secrets between us at all.) A few years later, social circumstances pushed us together, and she probably had matured a bit too(!), and we became the best of friends. One of our favourite songs is from a hip hop trio called Salt’n’Pepa, which when I think about it suits us perfectly because as much as we are the same, we are so very different. And as much as we are different, we also complement each other and go together. Just like actual salt and pepper. And today, I couldn’t imagine avoiding her at all, and nor would she let me if I tried. 😉
Some of my friends have babies and children whom I adore. Watching someone you care for become a parent and learn to care for a baby of their own and raise a child is a precious thing and the connection that you then have to those children is just as precious. One of my dearest friends has a beautiful, almost ten year old daughter who I have loved as much as I love her mother since the moment I first met her when she was only a day old.
A magnificent thing about friendship is that when it is true it is not bound by geography. I have friends all over this beautiful country of ours, and even a few peppered around the globe from time to time, and not once has the distance changed anything aside from, perhaps, the frequency of our conversations.
As I wrote in a blog post earlier this year, friends are often around when you’re creating happy memories, but you’ll discover who truly loves you when your happiness goes incognito and they shine brightest for you. And for me, I couldn’t be any luckier or happier to have such beautiful individuals shining in my life.
A famous duchess once said that ‘our happiness in this world depends on the affections we are able to inspire’. While I don’t quite know how I did it, I’m so thankful I inspired the affections of all the remarkable friends I have today. My world would be a very dull place without the warmth, laughter, chit-chat, dance-offs, and cups of tea that is shared with each one of them. A blessed being am I.
‘Til next time,
P.S While there are no names mentioned in this post, I hope you will all know who you are. This post is my way of saying thank you for your ever-enduring support and kindness. In each of your own unique little ways you are the colours that make up the rainbow in my sky and I hope that I am at least a tiny ray of sunshine in yours. x