The last year has by far been one of the most valuable years of my life. I have learnt and grown so much, both in my personal life and in my career and I am so thankful for events that have lead me here. I have never been stronger, more independent or content with who I am and where I want to be and I feel like the past year has shaped me into the person I needed to be for my next chapter.
Most importantly I have learnt to be a better friend. We can all relate, when you get into a relationship you can quickly find yourself quite isolated from friendships that were once your everything. I have really taken a step back and realised how lucky I am to have such incredible friends. I am literally surrounded with the strongest, supportive and most stunningly beautiful woman and without them my life would be so empty.
It got me thinking, why do we place so much emphasis on having to get engaged and married to a guy? Really its our friends that we should be celebrating and committing to in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer. Realistically, you don’t divorce your friends, they are there through thick and thin and are the ones picking up the pieces when a relationships don’t work out.
So this year my friends have been my front and centre. They are all so different but here are a few easy ways I have maintained and enjoyed each one…
Distance is not an excuse!
Two of my best friends live overseas and its so hard to be so far away from them but with the likes of Whatsapp and Facetime we are still just as close and connected as ever. I call my bestie Jane during the week at 5:30pm Melbourne time while she walks home from work and I am cooking dinner. Its my favourite time of day as we share work stories, boy stories and general gossip from across the ditch. She knows absolutely everything about me and has been one of the easiest and most natural friendships to maintain, distance hasn’t remotely affected us.
Sami lives in London so the time difference is a bit hard, but in the weekends I wake up early and I love lying in bed on a Saturday morning and talking to her while she gets ready for her Friday night out. We Facetime so I can see all the pretty lights of London while she is on route to the bar or friends house, kinda feels like I am there with her. So make the most of all the apps available, gone are the days of high international calling rates so there is no excuse! Don’t let your long distance friendships fade.
Get creative with how and when you catch up.
My darling Esta has been my everything this year. With Jane and Sami overseas, this little love bug has filled as much of their empty space as humanly possible. Her constant words/emojis of wisdom regularly come through my DMs, making my day that much better. We try to see each other once a week. My favourite is parking up by the museum and watching the sunset, closely followed by some of the most lit nights out in the club like we are 20 again. Catching up with friends doesn’t have to be expensive dinners or coffee and cake, be creative, go for a drive, park up somewhere pretty … all you need is each others company anyway.
Get out of the house and date your room mate/bestie!
I live with Sophie who I have been friends with for over 10 years. We met randomly at a party and hit to off immediately and now we live together. Its so easy when you live with a friend to use your home time as time to catch up. But after work on a Friday at 6pm, Soph and I meet at our local bar and gossip as if we haven’t seen each other in years, I love it. Its kinda like I meet my friend Sophie at the bar then go home and hang with my room mate Sophie! If you live with your friends, make time outside of the house to catch up so you can keep the friendship special.
Lock in a tv or movie night each week
Kieran is literally the male version of me and our time together is pretty much spent catching up on our favourite reality shows and dissecting the lives of the cast members. He has recently moved over to the shore, so we take turns driving to each others house on a Friday or Saturday, its the best night in! So invite the girls round to watch movies on a Friday night or if there is a TV series on like The Bachelor, rotate nights to watch at each others house together…. easy!
Don’t blame the kids!
Find it difficult to maintain the same relationship with your friends once they have kids? Trust me, they want to see you as much as you want to see them! Again, find easy ways to catch up with them that doesn’t take away time from their children and family. My friend Amber and I catch up on our way home from work. Its give us 20mins or so before she picks up her son and begins the nightly baby routine. Sometimes Ill pop over after work once he’s asleep and we have a quick hour catch up while he is sleeping.
Give them a special symbol of your love and commitment
I have really made an effort to acknowledge and appreciate my friends this year and its made me realise how their friendships will also be equally if not more important than any romantic relationship.
So having recently partnered with Michael Hill Jeweler I decided I wanted to start celebrating my friendships and focus on my commitment to them. Starting with my best friend Jane, by giving her something that represents how much she means to me and how committed I am to her through sickness and in health, richer or more commonly poorer (he he he).
We each have a song that reminds us of each other. Mine is ‘All That’ by The Game and hers is ‘By My Side’ by Sade. I chose two gold bar necklaces which I engraved with each others songs. Now we both have a symbol of our friendship close to our hearts and wear them everyday. Over the next few years I want to give all my friends something special, a commitment to be there, support, motivate, value and continue to love them till ‘death do us part’.
Celebrate your friendships, these are forever and deserve your commitment. Browse through the endless range of amazing pieces at Michael Hill, they have so many gorgeous things you will be sure to find something unique, that symbolising what your friends mean to you. Here are a few that will soon show up on my friends, I hope these inspire you to do the same!
True friendship is when friends can walk in opposite directions and remain side by side.I have so many more beautiful friends that will show up in my blog posts over the next few months, this is just a start.