Real Friends Like your Selfies...An ode to friendship on my 29th Birthday.
Its 6:45am and somewhere I can hear the distant horrific ring of my alarm. I stumble across the room to get my phone (I have to put it far away from my bed so I'll get so annoyed by it I can't just lie there..). Anyway, I switch off the dreaded alarm and yayy I have a whatsapp 'voicenote'. As someone with fat fingers and a terrible inconsistency in texting back - I now subject my nearest and dearest to whatsapp 'voicenotes' - which are basically me rambling on for two or three minutes about anything and everything. Anyway, recently, nothing rings me greater joy than a 7am voicenote from a friend. This time it was Jess - in Australia. We met one fateful night on holiday in Portugal two years ago and it was literally Friendship at First Sight. We spent all night loudly talking about wildly inappropriate things in a hostel bar and she's one of the best people I know. I mean shes Australian?! How could she not be great.?? We're rarely on the time zone but it really doesn't matter.
Earlier on in my twenties I was a Serial Girlfriend. Between 18 and 25 I was polite, well dressed, well spoken and either hanging off the arm of one impressive man - or crying over another. To put it bluntly - men had always come first (and yes, in more ways than one..).
I'm definitely not the first woman to have done this, and I won't be the last.. Falling in love is amazing and constantly presented to us as something to aspire to. But what about how great friendship is? I had found myself single at 25 with no solid clue as to where my friends were, or where I belonged. I knew a lot of people and had a tonne of acquaintances. I'm also not exactly a wallflower - but my world was suddenly very small and I didn't know what had happened. So, I made a pledge to myself that for now - friendship came first.
This was over 3 years ago and since then I have made more friends than I ever thought was possible. I've reconnected with old ones I thought I'd lost forever, climbed mountains, grumbled through 14 hour shifts, cried over boys, ran half marathons, recited the whole of the movie 'Bridesmaids' (yep, word for word.) and fallen off bikes drunk with new ones. Not to mention the VERY long, deep conversations where they've been far too polite to be like 'yeh Soph, I love you but...I really just need to...sleep?'. My Dad always says 'you can never have too many friends' and I have literally taken him seriously on this. Friendship is everything. Its the greatest investment of your life - more than love, more than your career, more than anything else. Friendship will help you through things you couldn't fathom you would ever get through (24 hour transfer days, hollywood waxes, failed degrees etc etc..). Your friends will help you laugh when you want to cry and be your biggest cheerleaders when you really just have no idea whether publishing your blog is a good idea or really where the hell you're going in life in general... (a special thank you to all of you who I force to proofread for me - you are very kind - when I renovate my castle in Italy I'll let you stay for free.). They will get you out of bed to go running, buy you rude birthday cards and like all your selfies in Instagram.
It's what makes the world go around. In the last 4 years I have learnt that what my Dad said is completely true. You need your friends more than anything else in the world and you can find as much happiness in your friendships as you will ever find in love.
I really have SO much more to say on this subject but I am currently two strawberry mojitos deep and my brain is fuzzing over so if there are spelling errors in this post, well, mystery solved! I also write this on my birthday from a lovely Hostel Bar (Bura Surfhouse in Portugal to be precise - go there, you'll love it!) and apparently we're going on a cliff top hike later (followed by probably a few more mojitos!). Also - we all currently have hairbraids and I feel at 29 this means im doing something right.
Anyway, if we are friends, please know that I love you very very much - no matter what period of my life you walked in and for how ever long you stayed. If we're not friends - say hi! Who knows, you may end up being a a new person I can whatsapp-voicenote-spam.... :-)