I am nearing 30. Slowly. Very very slowly. But in approximately one year, one month and five days I will be celebrating the big three oh. I am very picky with who walks my life journey with me and I can count my close-trust-you-with-my-heart-and-soul-and-deepest-secrets-friends on one hand. I am not a person who keeps friends for the sake of it and I think because I am a nerd / introvert / extremely honest person, friends are few but the few friends I have are true. I have learnt, however, that you can’t expect the entire package from one friend and that there are different friends with different roles.
So here is a list of friends that I have and that I believe each woman should have:
1. The Sister
I am an only child and therefore the sibling experience has not been in my frame of reference. When I started Varsity and moved to Pretoria I met Anita who was to be my roommate and we shared a very intimate space the size of a shoebox. It is going 11 years later and Anita and I are still friends. I appreciate her role in my life and I am almost certain that we will be roommates again in the old age home.
The “sister friend” is the one who is not necessarily your best friend, may not even be your maid-of-honour and isn’t the one you have to see at every social event, but she is the one that your life would be empty without. She knows you and doesn’t mind being brutally honest with you or having a different opinion from yours or calling you out on your bullshit – because after all you two have been through together and know about each other, life would just not be right without her.
2. The Spiritual Friend
Angelique. We both come from Springs and went to the same ballet studio, but our paths only crossed three years ago. Angelique is my son’s godmother and the person I will go to war beside. Especially on the spiritual battle-field. When it comes to prayer and our faith this is the friend that I will turn to. When I need someone to pray with or someone to pray for me, she is the one.
The spiritual friend is your sister-in-faith. The one you turn to when you need Chicken Soup for the Soul and the one you can exchange godly wisdom with that no one else will quite get.
3. The loyal friend who you can’t get enough of
Mariè. If someone had to ask me the name of my best friend, without hesitation this would be the name. If someone had to let us sit and not give us a time limit, or if we didn’t have responsibilities or schedules, we would never ever stop talking.
This is the friend who you can talk to about anything and everything. The friend who will not judge you when your language is very unladylike, who will build you up when you feel down, who will let you know everything will be ok when you need to hear it most, who will be your conscience, your moral gauge and who you can laugh with till you’re both in tears.
4. The honest friend
All of my friends have one thing in common and it is that they are unbelievably and brutally honest. To the point of wtf honesty. But Lana, is the one who you will always know where you stand with and who is so real no matter where she is in her life.
The honest friend is the one you show your new hair colour to and know you will get the truth, or the one you ask if you need to lose weight and you don’t need the answer as sugar-coated as the biscuit you’re busy eating, the one you can say anything to and know that she will never tell you what you want to hear, but always what is true, and the one you know you can count on.
5. The one who gets where you are in your life
Nicolette. For the past three and a half years we have sat no further than three metres away from each other. We work together and have been through very very interesting times together. This is the friend who you can look at in a meeting or across the room and she can immediately tell what you are thinking, most probably because she is thinking the exact same thing. She is the one who can, with just a hello, determine exactly in what mood you are and how to handle you.
6. The person you know will be walking your journey with you and will pretty soon fall into one of the above five categories
7. The friend whose clothes / style / make up / beauty secrets you soak up
8. The in case of emergency speed dial friend
9. The everything
I know earlier in this article I said that it is impossble to have one person who ticks all the boxes. There is one person that most women can attest to being everything to you at exactly the time you need it, and that is your mother. She is the sister / best friend / prayer buddy / will give you any recipe / conscience / committed-have-your-back / doctor / psychologist / most selfless friend you will every have.
Appreciate your friendships, guard them fiercely, invest in them and know that life is a wonderful journey when travelled with the right people, no matter how many or how few…