Friends’ Day

Facebook is celebrating 12 years of it’s existence and have been running videos of photos of your friends to post to your timeline. it got me thinking about my friends, and how incredible they are. I was going to do a status about it but then realised there are too many incredible people to write about so figured a blog post was in order.

The closest people in my life who made so much difference to me and how I grew into a person obviously are my family. My mum’s strength and determination to make me as independent as possible, my kid sister who put up with so much shit growing up because she had a blind sister but her pride in me was probably what got her through. I can remember when I was in California getting a phone call from my mum saying that Vikki had been suspended for hitting a girl who had been calling me and being damn right nasty that Vikki’s sister was blind. My sister promptly hit her and said, my sister is awesome, she’s living in California and going to university, your sister isn’t doing that, is she? As much as I don’t condone the violence, the sentiment rocks in my book.

To every girl who wasn’t my friend and made my school life hell, segregated me because of my blindness, thanks, because you’re as important as the people who accepted me for me later on in life. You made me tough. I can rely on myself and am happy with my own company because of the nasty, snide comments and always getting picked last in PE class.

My first real friend has got to be Hannah, God love her. She’s put up with a lot! She’s the one I did some crazy stuff with. We got each other through tough exams, we had fun on weekends, we went on my first holiday away from my parents together. We’ve had so many adventures. The six months we fell out, both of us stubborn as the other, was the loneliest time of my life. You shook me when I was depressed, you always saw the best in me, but was never afraid to tell me the truth when I was being a complete and utter idiot! And then there’s the other half of Hannah, her now husband James, who is like my adopted big brother. First day I met him, he was sick in front of me, and I repaid the favour later at a party after we both fell down the stairs.

Hannah and James are the funnest people to hang with. We laugh, we talk or argue politics, we always seem to find the funny side of something. We’ve probably drank way more than humanly possible during our friendship to.

A lady who has had a huge influence in my life is someone who isn’t conventionally my friend but she totally is. She’s my mum’s best friend and I call her my second mum. I’ve known this lady since I was 2 years old. She’s had one of the best influences over my life and has been there for my family during some the most difficult times. She’ll never truly know how much she means to us. She’s the only person, alongside her husband and kids, who could get away with some of the things she did to me as a child. And we still laugh heartily about those things now. She alongside my mum treated me like any other kid after I lost my sight. i was still rolling down hills at the cricket games, jumping off stages at the club house because as she knew my mum didn’t wrap me in cotton wool, why should she?

The people I met in California, Katie, Claudia, Melissa, Asha, Nitha were the best away from home family I could ever hope to meet. Katie’s own family took me into their home during holidays and weekends. Katie and I had so many fun adventures in her truck! Claudia and Nitha became like sisters to me. Melissa and I partied somewhat crazy and Asha was my sensible keeping me down to earth friend. Even though I don’t see these amazing ladies often, I know we can always pick up where we left off whenever we see each other. They offered me friendship when I was in a foreign place, away from all I knew and I’ll forever be grateful for the laughs and joy we shared. So many incidences the I could talk about but this blog post would become a million miles long. Melissa and Katie will remember the parties, Claudia and nitha the get togethers to or the salsa club nights. Asha the deep conversations we used to have and the shared appreciation for food.

For a long time, there was only really Hannah, James and my family in my life constantly. When I came back from the US, I was in a very dark place. But then I met Emma. Emma, my friend with such a generous, kind and golden heart who I feel we’ve travelled our spiritual paths side by side. Through Emma, I got into massage again, and started to discover the person I am. Crazily, that was two years ago and the person I was before then is probably shadowed in comparison to who I am today. We’ve shared happy and sadder times but she’s always there for a good chat when i need it or when I recently asked her and her husband to help with the fundraising efforts. She’s the one I can talk to about Disney and anything belief related and I know she won’t judge. We question so much together and our catch ups never seem to be long enough! I’m so blessed to know her and have her sharing this incredible journey.

Then there’s Kerby and Sarah. Incredible people who have helped me figure out more than they know who I am and where I’m progressing to. When I’d applied for my job, it was Kerby’s positive energy that kept me in faith and their hearts are so big it’s incredible! I was so thankful to share Midsummer with you guys and the incredible laughs but mainly teachings you’ve helped me learn along the way.

Then there’s Sammy and Esme! My horse peoples! I was so scared to call Esme for a first ride. Rejection had been so much a part of my life but she was so up for a trial ride and to see how I’d do. Sammy took me on and within a year, I was walking and trotting by myself. To think now, the scared person riding Harry that first day, to a rider who would go on two hour hacks was the same individual is mind blowing. But it’s because these two ladies and their faith in my abilities and not treating me differently except where only necessary is what made me progress. It was no big deal the first time Esme asked me to jump over a jump in the school, because she and I both knew, with her counting me in and saying jump, I could easily do it. And Sammy’s initial judgement and trust that I could do it with voice guidance and the humorous comments, along with the firm tellings off when I lost confidence was what made me love riding all the more.

My work friends. So many and so much I could say! I used to think you went to work, and would never want to hang with people you work with. But I’m in an unique situation where some of my work peeps are the most incredible people I could know outside of the people I’ve mentioned so far. I will only mention a few that have had the biggest impact on me. But there are so many and they increase all of the time.

Sam! You are funny, my go to girl for pretty much everything! Advice in and out of work, fashion, make-up, and so much more. You were there from the start. We can laugh and yet be serious, professional and yet fall about giggling and the fact our friendship is so diverse I am so lucky.

Gill! You have seen me cry more times at work than probably anyone, maybe only Sam. Your attitude toward me is so refreshing. Not many people get it, probably only you, Sam and myself. But the fact you’ve never treated me differently has always made me respect you that little bit more.

Miles! You know what I think. I’ve told you so many times. Your no nonsense attitude that first time we met was so influential. Your descriptions of people’s outfits is something I look forward to on a daily. So thank you!

There are so many others but you guys have influenced the person I’ve been able to become. with the support of you guys, Sam, Gill and Miles, I’ve felt comfortable to be me in an environment that initially scared me to death. The fact you guys saw me for me so early on and allowed me to be me, helped so much of my journey in the past year be so incredible!

These are just a few people I could mention. But obviously there are many more who have influenced me in both negative and positive. I’ve named the positives because that’s what it should be about. As I said earlier, to anyone who I thought was a friend at the time who had a negative impact, I thank you but I will not name you here.

I’m so lucky these people are in my life on whatever level and I thank each of them for seeing me for me. a lot of the people not mentioned here, always saw the blindness first but I can safely say, all of the people mentioned here see me as me and often forget the blindness thing. each one of these people has probably tripped me up when guiding, or told me to look over there or asked “did you see that?” But that’s what makes them my friends. It’s not offensive because they simply forget that aspect of me.

Happy friends’ day friends!

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