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  • Writer's picture Irina

My Friends

It’s happening. It’s actually happening. I am on the plane. Twelve months since I last visited Greece and here I am, flying over to Greece for a few weeks (Doug will join me in a few days!). Twelve months of Facetime and Zoom calls , twelve thousand or more Whatsapps and phone calls. Twelve months of trying hard to stay in touch, stay relevant and relatable. Twelve months of long-distance relationships. Twelve months of not leaving my house has made it my home more than ever. Twelve months of building new relationships with people around me and strengthening relationships that started since I moved to the UK means I am grateful and extremely lucky to have put down very strong roots and every single day I enjoy an overwhelming feeling of belonging that wraps around me like a warm blanket brings me calm, strength and happiness. Twelve months of friendships is on my mind today.


Very, very good!!!!


They say the friendships you form when you are young are for life. I am privileged to confirm this to be absolutely true. My girlfriends who I grew up with are still my family despite the twelve months, the distance. They are my people and our relationship has stood many tests, time being just one of them. Their own lives, husbands and children is the world I know, the grid I love and it defines me in so many ways. They are always a part of me and I carry them all with me everywhere I go. What they don’t say however, or maybe they do and I just missed it, is the joy of making new friends at a later stage in your life. Probably when you least expect it. For me it started when I moved to Upper Beeding and it has escalated over the last 12 months.


Crazy hair!! I am with my friends, don't care!

When I moved to the UK and after the initial excitement was over, we found the house we wanted to buy, we moved and we settled in, I realised that my comfort zone was nowhere to be seen. I found myself leading a very busy life but still missing what I have taken for granted all my life. Friends. Working from home, not having young kids to take to school and having moved out of Doug’s old neighborhood left no obvious places to meet people. Of course life, the universe and everything has a way of sorting things out as long as you send the right vibes. When eventually people came into my life in ways I would have never imagined I was ready to let them in. I really do believe that is the key. A friend of mine told me once that I have been very lucky to have made new friends. She is right, luck (or what I prefer to call ‘the universe’) plays a huge part. The rest however was entirely up to me and them. Both sides needed to create the space in our heads, our lives, our schedules, our thoughts, our attention, our feelings, and open up our doors as wide as possible to let eachother in. We needed to observe, notice, learn, understand and explain and listen, listen, listen. And accept.


Wonderful people, potential soul mates are not a privilege of youth. They can occur at any stage of our lives but they may never realise their full potential if they are only given a tiny little space to live in. They need to be nurtured almost like a young plant. Some of the relationships I formed never grew out of their tiny growing pot. Maybe I didn’t water them enough, maybe they needed fertiliser and I neglected it, or maybe they just didn’t like the space they were given and their roots just didn’t grow strong enough and when I took my eye off them for a bit, they dried out. I still cherish what is left and look after them knowing full well I will never see them flower. They carry their own value and although they are not on the most prominent position on my brain shelves, I reserve a place for them. And that I guess is a privilege of older age. Knowing that I can’t please everyone, be liked by everyone or be good friends with everyone is so valuable and calming and knowing when that is the case somehow happens a lot faster than when I was young. Time, energy, attention and love finds the right recipients faster.



Feeling blessed

The close friends I have made over the last few years and in a strange and completely unpredictable way during lockdown are like gorgeous flowers or shiny succulent leafs, turning towards the sun and longing to shine. And shine they do. In fact, they illuminate my life and warm my heart and make me feel so strong and loved and positive and appreciative of the wonder that is friendship. They have shaped so much of my journey through these turbulent times and I am not even referring to Covid. Talking of which, the fact that I can now hug and kiss my friends makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. Like today for instance, just before leaving I got to hug three of my friends, all of who came round to wish me happy holidays. And then when I checked my phone I found messages with beautiful wishes from my childhood friends that I will be seeing today when I land and my newer friends who I have lived with day in and day out during the last and I will really, really miss.


Will miss you Sara!!!!!!!

Which brings me back to my motto: sharing makes life more exciting and less scary. No doubt about it. Friendships grow routes and they become stronger with time and attention. Proximity is a factor but as my childhood friendships have proven, not the determining one… So although one of my three hugs today was for a longer farewell as my lovely friend Sara is moving to another country, I know our friendship will be evergreen, ever-growing, ever-loving.


Thirty minutes to landing. Twelve months and thirty minutes. If I was writing on paper, this page would have happy tears smudges. LOVE IS IN THE AIR. Quite literally.


Family.



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6 Comments


sara
Aug 23, 2021

There are rare moments in life when you meet someone and feel like you’ve known them forever. You are definitely one of those people. Thank you for being an incredible friend, and for all you’ve done for us. Missing you loads!!! ❤️xx

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errika75
errika75
Jul 25, 2021

Love you ❤️

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errietta.varvogli
errietta.varvogli
Jul 25, 2021

Good to be surrounded and beloved by friends !!here,now,everywhere!!

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zara.chalcraft
Jul 24, 2021

This one got me right in the feels, properly emotional. I feel incredibly privileged to call you my friend. xx

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allananscombe7
Jul 23, 2021

Such lovely words Irina x have a lovely time in beautiful Greece. I’m sure your new friends here in England will miss you xx

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