Friends. Where did you find yours?

I’ve always had friends. I was never without. I always seemed to make friends quite easily. Best Friends have always come in stages… In nursery there was Tom, Katie and Chris.

Katie was my best friend in lower school too. She only lived down the roads from me, so we spent a lot of time together. I remember we’d do that annoying thing where we’d spend the day playing and when her mum came to pick her up, we’d beg and plead with our parents to let her stay over the night! They’d always say, “why didn’t you ring before I left, I could’ve brought her stuff!”

Im not sure what happened to mine and Katie’s friendship, maybe we drifted apart. In middle school I met Frances. She was loud and outspoken, but so small. She looked just like the girl from Andre! We were best friends for years. We were really close and did everything together. She lived about 20 minute walk away, but had a paper-round in my street. Every morning when she delivered, she’d knock on the door and we’d chat for ages. Frances came to live with me for a while when she was having problems at home. I cant really remember much of our friendship after that!!

I cant remember when I met Leanne, but I think it was the end of middle school and the beginning of upper. I was a year or two older than her.  She lived in my street. I think Leanne introduced me to boys! We were obsessed with the ones on our street. We were best friends for years and told each other everything. Fell out loads too. When we weren’t falling out we were staying at each others houses, going town together, going clubbing at 15/16! My mum wasn’t a massive fan, thought she’d lead me astray. She started going out with one of the boys and we drifted apart. I went to college and met new people, and a while after I found out she was pregnant.

During upper school, I found my first pack! A big group of us hung out together cos we weren’t so popular. We were popular within our own group, but not so much with everyone else. I don’t remember everyone, but it was me, Adam, Matt, Jane, Jodie, Leigh-Ann, Chris and Steph. I remember the group getting bigger! Started filling with all sorts…not just outcasts, but normal people who couldn’t be bothered with all the popular groups! I started dating Matt and Adam started dating Steph. Things dissipated when Adam and I cheated with each other! Once I got over my heartbreak of being dumped by Adam, we became best friends…only because he was gay! Once we left school, most of us never saw each other again. I kept in touch with Adam and Chris, but it was an on and off thing.

At college I had loads of friends. None of the group had a particular best friend…we all hung out together like another pack! If someone was off, no one was ever left out, as we’d inter mingle. We were hilarious together and most tutors nightmares. The girls did tend to stick together on occasion though. Me, Huma, Sophie and Katie. There were other girls too, but they fancied the tutor, so always hung around him. He was young and impressionable, loved the attention! Most of us moved away for uni, although we did try and keep in touch it never happened.

Once I got to uni, I joined another ‘pack’… The guys and girls I lived in halls with. We were all really good friends. Me, Dave, Haylei, Emma, Adrian, Justin, Jimmy, Karen, Jamie. I was also very close to other girls from my course; Maz and Sarah.

Since leaving uni, Dave and Haylei are the only ones ive seen since. Me, Dave,  Emma and Adrian had a fall out cos someone told porky pies and someone else was too fickle to believe the truth. I won’t say who did what, but insecurity and jealousy ruined a good friendship group. Dave and I were really close at uni. I would say best buddies. We were always having a laugh and a joke together. Just chilling in each others rooms having a good moan 🙂

Returning to Northampton after uni, I found I didn’t really have many friends, other than Adam and Chris, my two constants. I moved back to my mums and got all down about being back. Everyone in my life before had moved on, got married, had kids, moved away. I was feeling alone. A new job saw the introduction of another new friend. Chelsea. She was a lot younger than me. I was 25 and she was 16!! Although so young, she acted a lot older than she was. She did have the tendency to be a massive baby and throw a strop, but we got on very well. Our manager was her cousin, so when I got sacked 9 months later, we stopped seeing as much of each other. I was far too bitter about the whole situation.

My last stable job in Northampton saw the introduction of a whole group of amazing people. Working at an all ladies gym, I met some fabulous girls. Lynsey, Karen, Q, San, Fatty (Fateha), and Emily. Brilliant group of girls who I could just sit down with for hours and chat away. We didnt go out together very often, we used work as our social time. You could always find us in reception or in the kitchen, feet up, with a cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate having a right good gossip! Since moving I’ve only stayed in close contact with Karen and Lynsey. We’ve been friends for 4 years and I know these girls will be friends for life.

With my first job in Cardiff came my first real friend here. Rabia. Other than a mutual hatred for our boss, we had so much in common! We’d sit at our desks doing our work and have a right good natter, talking about books she’d lent me, boys, babies, marriage and life. She invited me out with her friends for dinner and drinks. She was lovely, but after she left 4months later, we didnt see each other as much. Had i not changed my phone and lost her number, we’d still be in touch!

My next group of friends I met through a website are Jo and Rhi. Both fabulous people with great stories to tell. We all had a great time on my 30th birthday. There was a crisp fiasco! We’re all still great friends, although Rhi has moved to Italy, I still see Jo often. These girls will be my friends forever. Jo and I plan to visit Rhi in Italy next year!

Last but not least are my book club girls. Ceri, Annie, Judith, Megan, Sam, Seren, and Vicky,  An awesome group of around 6 of us who meet up every month to discuss books! We also discuss wine, travel, work, cake, tv, babies, marriage, healthy pink vaginas (don’t ask) and just have a good girly giggle for a few hours. Its so much fun. Its nearly a year that ive known these girls. As long as there are books to read, they’ll be book club girls!

So throughout my 30 years of life ive met a lot of people and made a lot of friends, both short and long term. Of course there have been many more in between, but these ones seem to have made lasting memories and been important in my life at some point or another. Ive met people in so many different ways; through school, education, work, hobbies, acquaintances. Im not sure there are any other ways to make new friends and meet new people? It occurs to me that ive not had a best friend for a while. There is no-one in my life right now who knows everything there is to know about me. All of the above know everything collectively, but individually, they know bits and pieces. Some bigger bits and pieces than others. Is this a good or bad thing? Is a best friend that important?. Im sure I’ll gain another soon enough…one I can call my bff. Right now im just happy knowing the people that I do and being able to call them friends.

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