Someone once told me that no matter how far apart, true friends stay close by heart. This has been true for a number of special friends that I have kept whilst jet-setting around the world. It is a beautiful thing to have not seen a friend for 6 months, and to pick up exactly where you left off.
After spending a week in sunny Perth with one of my oldest friends, I am sitting at the airport writing this post through another wave of awful goodbye tears.
When I think about saying goodbye to somebody who is close to my heart I often get teary, and feel physically sick. The week leading up to leaving New Zealand consisted of many tearful goodbyes, hugs, and quite frankly avoided meet ups. I made a conscious decision to not text anybody who did not text me… this wasn’t to spite people (although I do acknowledge it hurt a few feelings) but rather it was to keep my head as clear as I could, and to not become too overwhelmed and kick off my anxiety. My heart felt heavy thinking about leaving my life and friends (and my fiance) in a country which has definitely stolen a piece of my heart, but as I learned from my engagement party, I am beyond blessed and loved (yes, I am STILL on a buzz from that night). I know that some friends may drift apart over years, but some people- no matter how different your paths take you, your bond of friendship is never broken.
Coming to Perth has reminded me of this exactly. Since I have been here, I have spent the majority of time with Danielle (and my wonderful niece Poppy) who I met in secondary school in England. We worked out that we have only knew each other for about a year (possibly 9 months?) yet we became completely inseparable almost instantly. We weren’t in the same friendship group, let alone the same year group, but something clicked the day I met Danni, and that bond has never changed.
After I moved to NZ, Danni moved to Perth to live with her Mum in 2008. Before that I made it over once whilst Danni was on holiday, and then again when she arrived to live. She visited me in NZ for a wee holiday at the start of 2010, but at the time I was awaiting open-heart surgery and had a ton of activity restrictions which made me grumpy (no swimming, walking, running, drinking alcohol etc… AND IT WAS SUMMER) I also was extremely tired and probably not a nice person to be around, yet Danni and I managed to road trip the entire North Island, meeting a bunch of cool friends, having as much fun as we could and eating lots of yummy food. After that, I didn’t see Danni again until 2013, when I made a very short trip back to Perth while I was awaiting my second open chest surgery (shh the hospital still don’t know!).
Here are some photos of us over the years…. (cringe!)
Although it has been almost ten years since Danni and I met and we have not seen each other much in the last 8 years, she is still one of my closest and dearest friends. There is absolutely no judgement in our friendship, which I am learning is a rarity. I know no matter what my problem is, I can pick up the phone and call her and she’ll be there… and I hope she knows that I am the same too. We are extremely different to our cringy gothic teenage years, and also both different in our lives now as adults. But none of the superficial stuff matters when you have this special friendship that we have. We have just spent the week chatting, drinking coffee, playing board games, watching DVDs, eating food (seems to be a good common occurrence!) and just enjoying each others company (ooh and an amazing day getting all dressed up for the Races). I love that feeling of just being able to chill with someone and not do too much but still have fun! And Danni’s wee girl Poppy is the apple of my eye. She is just SO cute. Last year I was so proud that she learnt the word “Mum” and now she is talking in sentences and saying “aunna pitch” (aunty peach). I wish I could take her (and Dans of course) on the flight with me! I am super proud of where Danni has come, and can’t wait to see what the future holds for her, knowing that our friendship will never drift. And on a side note here: I love her whole family-The McCormacks/Galts… you will always be stuck with me!
On top of spending time with Danni, I have also seen Brittany (who I met at University) and Val (who I went to high school with) since I have been here. Again, it has been so awesome picking up conversations where we left off, and laughing and creating more memories together. Along with other long-distance friends who I have stayed in close contact with over the years (you know who you are), it gives me peace that true friendships do stay with you for life! I am going to try my very hard to stay in contact with each and every one of my kiwi friends, and I hope you all know that I am still only an email away (and I LOVE snail mail… so if you’re up for a penpal holler at me!) Distance is but a figure; yes I will miss not being able to drive over and have coffee with you in person, but I love that with Skype and Facetime I can see you whilst drinking coffee together still. And I am hoping facebook and regular emails will keep us all in the loop of each others lives so that we are not missing out on too much. I am sad that I won’t be in NZ for some special events this coming year (Like Bobs and Scotts baby arrival!) but know that those special friendships will stay with me no matter what.
Here is another collage of some of my Perth highlights
I think that is enough of my ramblings for the night (or morning wherever you are) but I just wanted to say a MASSIVE thanks to Perth for a fun, relaxing break (and the last sunburn Ill have for while!). And now I hold my breath and close my eyes as I take the next leap of faith to Hong Kong, and then onto London. See you in 37 hours the UK! Hope you’re ready!!