By the end of the day, I am sure you will all be aware today is International Women’s day. Not only do we have a whole day to shout about the wonderful women in our lives, Mothers day is also on Sunday (*que mad rush to the shops) so I thought what better way to mark the day than a little ode to my favourite ladies? Here it goes…
Those I call family – You drive me crazy, especially the immediate three. I probably state at least three times a day I am never going to talk to you again. I don’t mean it. I would be absolutely lost. You show me how to be strong, how to not give up, how to not take shit and how independent women can be. You teach me daily how to learn to tolerate others and that life isn’t always fair, easy or ok but we do a fine job at getting on with. Between the four of us we have managed to take a pipe dream off the ground and make it into something I am beyond proud of. We have laughed so much over the years, had some amazing adventures. Some not so good, yet they have only made us better, brought us closer. We have travelled the world, danced under stars, attended parties I am still not too sure how we got invited to. We have our songs, songs which come on leaving me searching the dance floor for you all, my heart always drops a little if Proud Mary starts and you’re not by my side.
Having two sisters and a Mother with so much in common, so close to each other, who are beyond competitive as you can imagine is the ultimate recipe for disaster. And whilst at 27 I still use ‘I wish I was adopted’ in arguments I never mean it. I will always be thankful you were the ones I shared all of my childhood with. Thankful that you are first family but will always be my closest friends.
To my Grandma who keeps our family together, whose house will always feel like home. She always has the kettle on for me and the fire going on a Sunday night. She has spent years dedicating her time to help others has always been an inspiration to me. To my Granny, aunts and cousins who will always offer a different dynamic to life. Who teach me new things, always have something interesting to say or help me out of a sticky situation. It is true what they say, you don’t choose family, but I am grateful I got you all in mine.
The school tribe (my forever tribe) – I am so proud to call you mine. When I think of you I want to grab you all and embrace you in the biggest hug (from the girl who hates contact). You are my first port of call for everything, my rocks, my shoulder, the ones whom I WhatsApp when I am too bored to think and need entertaining. The ones I share tales of my dates, who understand when I don’t like a guy for the most pathetic reasons. You are the ones who are always up for a last minute holiday, a cup of tea and cake at the kitchen table. You are the ones I see myself growing old with. Growing up with you all has been one of the biggest highlights of my life. Going from 11-year-olds (& younger, shout out to Abi) meeting at high school, through heartbreaks, tears, bad decisions, good decision. Seeing you meet the ones, some of you getting married, engaged, buying horses (this was supposed to say houses, but horses is as fitting), dogs, cars I thought we would never own, especially when we were trying to fit 11 people in a Corsa. We have been through so much. The good the bad and the quite frankly ridiculous yet through the test of time we still remain better than ever. I don’t know how we got to this point but I am forever grateful we dragged and pulled each other through because I would be lost without you all.
The ones who will always jump at the chance of a night out – I will never underestimate the friends who you can text at the last minute when you need to get out the house and they are there. Last minute cocktails, impromptu cinema trips, spontaneous city breaks. Over the years everyone’s lives change, circumstances change. We have our own lives, our own families. The years of Friday and Saturday nights out are long behind us. Having that friend who you know is always up for some fun, who doesn’t need mid-week texts to dissect how the week is going to keep your friendship alive will keep you sane.
The ones I instantly clicked with – I love making friends, meeting new people but it is not something which always comes naturally to me. I am not very confident and make a terrible first impression. I am nervous, awkward and always say the wrong thing. Maintaining friendships I am much better at. There are a few girls, who I have grown close to in the last couple of years who I am so grateful I have found. Girls who a few years back were mere strangers, or girls I knew of but are now one of my closest allies, someone I will tag in funny memes, are my biggest cheerleaders, pick me ups and lifelines. One I knew from the minute we met in an interview we would be friends. I don’t know why I just had a feeling we would be. I was far more confident about that than getting the job. One tweet on a Saturday night 6 years back to see if I wanted a night out and the rest is history. The ones I met in uni on the first day, worried I had made a big mistake and wanted to go home who made my first year so great, The girls who I lived with for two years who felt like my family. The one who I became a friend slowly over time and is now a favourite holiday partner in crime, style inspiration and a constant source of advice, a daily confidence boost when I need it and the one person who can put things into perspective for me in one message. Those who were my sister’s friends who merged into mine and I kept because they bring me so much joy, and the one who I met only a year ago and had no idea we would still be friends, living in different countries. You prove it is never too late to make new friends, never too late to meet new favourite people. Never too late to meet people who will change things for you.
Those who you don’t talk to often – There are friends who I feel I talk to every minute of every day. And then there are friends who I can go a month or so without contact and still be equally as close to. If I have learned anything about friendship over the years it is each and every relationship you have is different and that is ok. It is how we get by, how we can have so many wonderful people in our lives. Those friends who I drop into every now and then are amazing, we can pick up just where we left off, not see each other for a year but it feels as though only a day has passed. There is never an awkward moment, a pause, or a gap to fill. They are friends who will never be offended if you drop in to ask a question or get some advice and go again. A Friendship which exists on an unspoken friendship agreement.
In all, I want to say a massive thank you to you all, a massive thank you to the lovely women I work with. To any women who have shown me kindness and support. I am so proud of how much you have all achieved. You are such an inspiring bunch I am so pleased I can say I know you, you are my friends. Today is all about us, a big ‘I showed you’ to the ex-boyfriend’s who said we wouldn’t amount to anything, the boss who said he couldn’t see you had any talent (both a true story). Like our round little friend pooh said: “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you know.”