Last night I caught up with one of my oldest friends. I hasten to add she is not 98, she is 39 like me. Louise (Lou) and I have been friends since kindergarten - about 36 years. I cannot remember my life without her and so she is very much a part of my life and I have no doubt will continue to be so. She is as much like family as my own. She is a friend who knows me well, sometimes, I suspect, a little too well.
Despite my overseas relocation for nearly 8 years, we maintained our friendship and continue to connect easily and comfortably whenever we get together. Up to recently that has been a rare occurrence, but we are now making efforts to meet more regularly. There is a certain ease between us which comes from a long and trusted friendship. Seeing Lou has reminded me how lucky I am. I have great friends.
My friends have seen me at my best and my worst and most have stuck around despite it! We have shared secrets and dreams, midnight feasts and scary movies and burned marshmallows over the open fire. They have kept me grounded and given me shoulder shakes when I was being unreasonable. They have embraced me, advised me and scolded me. They have laughed at me when I was being too serious and made me laugh at myself. Many times we have laughed until we cried!
They have waved me good-bye as I have headed off on travels and have been waiting with open arms upon my return. Like Lou, they have stood the test of time. They have seen my 80's fashion disasters and some pretty bad hair days, they have seen me run last in the school athletics, listened to my Wham renditions and filled their mouths with minties until choking with laughter - all in the name of friendship. They have sympathised with my terrible nerves at exam times and tried to dispel my teenaged insecurities.
I have friends that are 'old' friends and amazing friends who have come into my life more recently, through work, through chance, through plain good fortune. They have listened with open hearts while mine was breaking and have warmed me with their love and encouragement. I am indeed lucky.
I am happy to say, bad hair days, hairy legs, warts and all, they accept me for me and they still embrace me with open hearts. They continue to bring laughter and sunshine into my life and they are amazing.
Just for the record...
Jane still holds the 'most minties in the mouth' record - you'll need 16 to beat her!