Reverb10 – Dec 16 – Friendship

How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?
(Author: Martha Mihalick)

I don’t think I can narrow it down to one friend. Not because I have so many, because I don’t, really. I’ve learned with age that when it comes to friendship, quality is vastly preferable to quantity. So in no particular order, here’s a big shout out to all the people who made me feel loved, accepted and worthwhile throughout the year; good people who I’m blessed to have in my life.

B has been my best friend for years. We met at college but I thought she was too cool for school (and that I was woefully inadequate to be her friend) and we only ever hovered round each other on the edges of intersecting social circles. Somehow all that changed when we had babies and moved close to each other – geographically and emotionally. You could quantify our friendship in years (25), children (three between us), phone calls (too many to try counting) and loving support through tough relationship dramas (mostly mine), but it wouldn’t do it justice. B has taught me to never shrug off complacency, to reach high for my dreams, and to live in the moment – this year probably more than any other.

K is my close friend – so close that in the past four years we’ve briefly dated, shared a house and then lived in houses 25 yards away from each other. She’s always there with a cup of tea, a cigarette and her uniquely twisted humour, always ready to see the utterly hilarious or ridiculous side of life. I can always hear her laugh above the hubbub of a crowd. For several months this year she was right there beside me, bolstering my strength and keeping an eye out on my wavering health. In three days time she moves house – only half a mile away but further apart than we’ve lived in years – to move in with her lovely partner. It feels like the end of an era, which is why I choose to celebrate it here.

D is someone I’ve known since school, although we haven’t really seen each other properly in years; but through the magical powers of the internet, and indeed #reverb10, we’re getting to know each other again; I’m looking forward to catching up with her in person in the New Year.

The other D, who has been through so much this year, but remains dignified and focussed, despite working a hellish job with sometimes hellish people. She is a talented writer and photographer and this year has sold some of her work, which I find tremendously inspiring.

My son… well, I’m loathe to tempt fate and say that he’s definitely through the Adolescent Hell Years, but our relationship has improved, dramatically. This year has been one when I’ve stopped and taken a deep breath and thought very hard about whether or not to engage in whatever battle’s being thrust at me. By choosing wisely, and through laying boundaries – horribly, painfully strict boundaries at times – I’m starting to see the side of my son which will make him a good friend – to me and everybody else in his world.

I run the risk of being horribly cheesy by writing about my girlfriend here, but Leo is as much a good friend to me as she is my partner and my lover. I’m not going to make you all cringe by going into any kind of detail: suffice to say, Leo is great, and I am lucky.

There are all sorts of other folks who deserve mentioning: my work colleagues – the vast majority of whom are supportive, generous and hilarious to work with; the pub quiz team folks; the Wrecked! ladies… all of whom have made me feel like I’m worth it – which is priceless.

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2 Comments

  1. Youre a lucky lady 🙂 I guess you already know that though 🙂 x

    Reply
    • Thank you. I do feel blessed in many ways, but I also like to remember that quote that goes something along the lines of, ‘The harder I work, the luckier I am,’ – I don’t mean I’m smug or anything, I’m not at all, but I do try very hard (probably too hard sometimes) to make myself and my little family happy. This year has had its challenges – most of which are too intensely personal for teh interwebs – but I’m determined now to try and learn something from it and grow stronger.

      And I will come and see you in the New Year, promise x

      Reply

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