Wednesday, 27 April 2011
Tuesday, 26 April 2011
You just turned 21 (!) and I gave a speech – affectionately teasing, but perhaps a little long on the embarrassment and short on the love. So here’s a little letter just to show how much you mean to me.
I’ve known you for 7 years now. 7 years! A third of your life (currently). You’re one of my oldest, nearest, dearest and closest friends – you and Gemini. I meant what I said in my speech – when I was 13, I never could have imagined how far we’d come, the semi-nekkid stunts we’d pull, the things we’d achieve, the wild parties we’d attend, the fun times we’d have, how much you’d inspire and encourage me, the amount of support you’d always provide, the trust I could, without question, place in you.
Back then, we were quiet (hard to believe), shy and super-nerdy (what’s changed eh?). I was extremely introverted, painfully polite, and incredibly homesick. I was never what you’d call popular, and in such a new and intimidating environment (a place so far from home, and so cut off – no phones, no internet) could not easily imagine making friends. On top of all that, there was the strenuous outdoors program – hiking, skiing, running – and those first few weeks were a struggle.
But slowly, surely – as we sat next to each other in Maths class, as we continued to be the only students in our set who did their homework, as we monologue through English and panted through PE, as we got lost on knolls and pushed ourselves, breathless, over the finish line – together – I came to rely on you. When I felt like I didn’t – couldn’t – fit in, you showed me that it didn’t matter – that there were two of us (don’t tell! They’d banish us you know!) You have been a huge part of helping me be OK with who I am – with being proud of who I am. The shaping of who I am today – it all started in year 9, and in large part thanks to you.
I’ll never forget – you, me, K, G hiking together in fourth term (the perfect – and always my favourite – hike group). Wear Sunscreen. Crossies and skiing tests and that time you dropped my hedgehog on the floor (only to replace it later with a Time Out). Miggers and tenting together and “pain is good.” Orienteering (read: getting lost) and Cross Cut Saw and poetry. I couldn’t have done it without you by my side – a friend I knew I could tell anything to, who wouldn’t judge me, who would tell give me her honest opinion and probably be able to relate.
It’s hard to explain just how much you mean to me without lending myself to clichés (something Mr H would never allow) but – I’ve always felt like you’re my other half (the smarter, more out-going, more daring, more ambitious half), always pushing me to greater heights. After you left – well, that was hard. I only had a handful of close friends with me who were staying on. But Gemini came back, and you stayed in touch. I will always be so, so grateful to you for many things – for being so much more than a friend – but always terrifically thankful that we stayed in touch – sporadic catch-ups in Melbourne, long email conversations, blogging, then Facebook. I like to think it bodes well for our future apart, when you’ll be off saving the world from economic disasters, and I’ll be who knows where, but I think we’ve proved distance ain’t got nothing on us. When we caught up again at uni, it was like we’d never been separated – except for the fact that you were noticeably louder, more confident, and liked a good pub crawl :) And we’ve never looked back.
Over the years, we’ve started adjudicating together, partying together, going to America (true to form, never at the same time), confiding about boys, arguing over politics, going to movies, reluctantly dress-shopping, partaking of chocolate as often as possible, dreaming large, studying hard (wait what?!), staying over (it only took 3 years), getting lost (still), hoping against hope, and looking out for each other. I can't think of a time when I've ever been truly mad at you - except for that time with the hedgehog (and maybe that one time with the boy at 3am...but hey, after some sleep, I got over it.)
I’m unbelievably proud, beyond honoured and so very, very lucky to count you as one of my closest friends, and I’m counting on the fact that I always will be. Thank you, Sara, for being a beautiful, thoughtful, loyal, trustworthy, sincere, frank, heartfelt, comforting, friend. My future is always bright while you are in it.
I love you.