I wrote the following as an article submission for The Star on friendships that have helped change our lives in some way. It was never chosen, however I thought it would be a shame if it was never published so I thought I would share it here!
Five years of full-time school, nearly full-time work, and battling a chronic illness left my social life fairly depleted. During this time I was lucky to work, mostly as a barista, in jobs that were fun and social enough to fill this gap. However, after being hired following my internship at my current company, I left all this behind to begin what I had been working towards all this time – My career. I worked with, and still do, the greatest group of people, however being the new kid with a bit of an age gap, I often felt like a bit of a lone wolf.
A few months later we took on a new intern named Vanessa from the same program I had graduated from. I don’t believe we spoke much apart from introductions in the first few days, however one day I offered to show her where I spent my lunches and we haven’t stopped talking since. I don’t remember much from our first conversation but I do remember the moment she said, “I prefer to spend money on concerts than anything else” and as a fellow concert junkie, I knew we would be good friends.
Over time, our lunches grew from a place to discuss music and other commonalities to a place for advice and support. Our conversations helped me leave a horrible relationship and all that followed. When it came time to date again, she was there all the times it didn’t work out, and when it finally did. When my illness flared up again, she was the one willing to go out of her way to bring me groceries when I couldn’t for myself. Most people don’t know the struggles I encounter with my health on a daily basis; There have been so many days where it has been an absolute struggle for me to get through a work day, however having her support has made all of the difference. I’m not sure she truly realizes this.
It’s been over four years since our first conversation and over time we have helped each other through life’s highs and lows. Nothing is off-limits or too embarrassing for us to tell each other, and we often joke that we pretty much share a brain at this point! We all spend more time at work than anywhere else, so it is wonderful to have a person there to laugh through both the little and big things every day, and Vanessa is my person.
Our friendship has taught me that, while we all like to believe that we meet our best friends as children, sometimes the greatest ones are the ones we meet when we are all grown up.