About fifteen years ago, Ness- a beautiful girl with a smile that could light up room and I were best friends. Just last week she shared some incredible news on social media that rendered me beyond emotional. Ness and I had a funny friendship because for starters we got off on the wrong foot (probably because we were so stubborn and alike). But things turned around, and our friendship blossomed quickly. Throughout our friendship we shared a penchant for drinking too much). We danced, twerked and “went round the outside” to Eminem and club bangers like we were fifteen and on our first night on the vodka cruisers (except we did it every Saturday). I’m pretty sure we could have taught Beyoncé a thing or two about moves back in the day to be honest.
Ness and I shared clothes, make-up and a mutual love of trashy movies. We always had each other’s back. When a frenemy crossed one of us, they had double trouble guaranteed. We also nursed each other’s broken hearts after many a crappy breakup…. And let’s face it, we had up our fair share. When times were tough we had a dancing pot plant sunflower back then that cheered us up and sung the lyrics to, “You are my sunshine….” Geez, it made us laugh.
At one stage I think Vanessa was my only friend…she was my beacon of hope. More than just my lifeline to friendship, she let me sleep in her spare room when I got cheated on by some guy my Mum told me not live with and had to run away. I cried buckets to her when I had depression and she understood when my anxiety meant I had to leave her house fifteen minutes after I arrived and ate all her KFC.
We had business plans together, We were barely separable. I thought that we’d be best friends forever. We had ill -fated picnics indoors when the weather didn’t permit our plans. We knew each other’s secrets, shared each other’s hopes, dreams and fears over the years and had each other’s backs. We could call on another for help and that continued even after I left that small country town in Australia and headed back to university in Melbourne. We bridesmaid plans and all.
We’ve both had ups and downs and the extreme lows life can throw along the way. Neither of us had it easy back then, in terms of health but also in relationships. But as besties always shared a good sense of humour and above all a mutual respect even when the rest of the world appeared to think we were halfwits. Which let’s face it, happened semi-regularly. But heartbreakingly at the time, my bestie (who had been my only sunshine at times) and I- we drifted apart.
Communications between Ness and I became more sporadic. Life took us down different roads. I felt devastated she was unable to attend my engagement party and remember thinking this is the beginning of the end for us. One day on Facebook I found she had a new “best friend” and I won’t lie… it broke my heart into a thousand pieces. I was too young and not wise enough to realise that if I spun all that love for her back around onto myself and treated myself like a best friend (as you should)… none of that would actually change a thing.
The other night I caught the tail end of some miraculous news about ‘My Ness’. And the tears came…. all of them. She has met a soulmate and her family is growing… and this is EXACTLY the happiness she has ALWAYS deserved, even, when she didn’t know it. She had it in her to achieve blissful abundance in love and I’m so glad that at the end of the day she never settled for second best. I couldn’t have been happier for my old bestie who (having been a single Mum) has built a completely new life and family for herself from the ground up through sheer grit, hard work, determination and always a touch of fierce independence and fire in the belly.
I congratulated Ness, with the same love I have always held for her in a space of my heart. I could not be prouder of her and I will always wish her every happiness because I love her. I am super proud of what she has created in terms of new beginnings. The truth is of course, although I initially felt a bit sad to watch this fairy-tale play out from the sidelines of social media, what I need to remember is first and foremost is this; I have been extremely privileged to share such a big and special part of her journey…. (irrespective of whether they were for us the good bits, the bad bits, and everything in between). The circle of life in a modern-day era. I look forward to watching and cheering with more social media and virtual but genuine love when bubba comes along… And if such a thing exists I will hunt it down, because I just know the newest member of her little tribe needs a dancing flower mobile to hang above the cot and make the little one laugh while it sings,” You are my sunshine, my only sunshine….”
I’ve learned so much from being part of this blessed girl’s life and from our friendship. In particular, the truth and the nature of life changes means friendship doesn’t mean daily contact, or even necessarily sharing the ins and outs of everyday life. Friendships are certainly not a competition. Mateship is about mutual respect, holding the space in your heart for someone else and above all else still feeling that same love even years after your active communication has come to a stand- still.
You’re greatest friends in life will always be just that…irrespective of whether they have other friends, who are now closer than the two of you. Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of life we forget how truly loved we are, and see only what’s immediately around us which can compound a sense of loss. We need perspective. We need to remember ALL of all the hearts we’ve touched, and that have touched us. Because it’s moments in time that make life worth it- not a current friendship status.
Now every time I think of my fierce, independent, strong and robust Ness I think of ALL the love….from us, to us, about us. I challenge you to think of all the love you’ve received and been gifted from mates (past and present) over the years. Now reserve some of that love for your own soul, and with the excess…shine it like a bright light back into the world. And then, while you’re out there gifting your undivided love to others… hanging your heart and sleeve on it, please always remember to be your own best friend as well. You deserve that sunshine too.
Naomi Fryers is a freelance writer, blogger and mental health advocate from Melbourne, Australia. She has been published in a number of celebrated Australian and U.S based publications including at The Huffington Post. She is known to be a serial hobbie cycler (anywhere from stamp collecting to making home made perfume). She is a former editor of the illustrious social justice based publication The Good Men Project. Her caffeine inspired corner of cyberspace sits at www.naomifryers.com
Photo credit: Elaina Daley / Insta: @daleyelainaBrowse Front PageShare Your Idea
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