I write this letter to every single one of you. Today is the International Day of Friendship and I want to take a moment to tell you the things I am always and forever feeling towards you, but I never think to stop and let you know.
They say friends are the family you choose, and the older I get, the more I understand this to be true. I look at every one of you, and I look at the group of you as a whole – the unique selection of people I have subconsciously chosen to surround myself with – and I can’t help but notice you make my life pretty damn beautiful.
In the time I have had – in New Zealand, in Italy, and in London – I have had some amazing experiences, travelled to some amazing places, and seen some incredible things. But when I look back, it’s small, beautiful moments of my time with you that pop out like pieces of glitter amongst grains of sand.
I’m not talking about the big moments we stop to take photos of – the weddings and birthdays and graduations. I’m talking about everything else. I’m talking about the simple joy I take in everything in between; the feeling of absolute happiness and love I’m wrapped up in when we’re doing something as simple as gripping our mugs of coffee and chatting about life. Or dancing to Shania Twain at full blast in your lounge, wine (white, thankfully) sloshing over the brim of our glasses. Or the giggling fit I can’t contain as we walk through London streets and you tell me about your latest dating escapade in the hilarious way you do so well.
I am so grateful for every single one of you, for the different ways you enrich my life, and I hope I bring something good into your own, too. I hope you know how much you mean to me, and how happy I am that I get to have you by my side as I wander down this crazy, lovely path they call life.
To the trio who sacrifice their sunny Saturdays in New Zealand to convene around a computer and listen to me blab away from the other side of the world. To the Kiwi Scotsman who will always open his best bottle of red to enjoy together as we chat about all manner of things. To the Scouse queen who injects a little glamour into my life, and a LOT of humour. To the girl who still feels like the childhood friend I played with on the bars after school, despite us both moving away from home and our lives following such different directions. To the Italian boy who took me under his wing when I was 16 and still feels like a big brother, a decade on. To everyone else – to all of you who are in my life and by my side, virtual or physical, thank you for being there.
I’ve had such a good time with you. I’m going to end with almost the only time one of those little moments that mean everything to me was captured, and let it be representative of every moment like it I have been lucky enough to share with you all. Standing between two friends-come-goddesses, each of us basking in pure happiness, enjoying a moment, feeling, loving, and just living alongside each other, because it sure as hell beats doing it without you there.
You’re a gem.