Yesterday, as I was writing in a twentieth birthday card, I realised that Ashleigh, Nadine and I have now been best friends for fifteen years! That is a pretty incredible feat, considering that the three of us are only twenty years old. The friendship between us is one of the things I treasure most in my life. Not many people can say that they have shared their first day of preschool, primary school, high school and university with the same friends – but we can! At one stage recently, we even all worked together in the same job! It is impossible for me to imagine my life without them, because they have been there, every step of the way.
It amazes me sometimes that our friendship has withstood the pressures of growing up and the transitions between different stages of our lives. The teenage years were made so much easier by having a nice, stable friendship! Sure, it has not been perfect. We have had our ups and downs, but we have always come back together. Any bitchiness or boy dramas have merely been minor hiccups in our journey – although, we did not always have this perspective at the time! As we have gotten older, our friendship has only strengthened and we really do love each other like sisters. Their families are truly like my own. The three of us each bring something different to the table and, between us, it really seems to work!
Ashleigh Mansfield is such a strong and determined person, who never lets anyone get in the way of her dreams. Her motivation always inspires me. She is incredibly loyal. We have shared some amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experiences together, such as travelling to France in 2009 and also being the (best ever, super awesome) girl school captains at our high school. I cannot imagine being able to have survived the pressures of Year 12 without Ashleigh as my wonderful support. Her reasonableness and realistic attitude often serve to be a perfect balance to my highly excitable nature. I love the fact that we are able to have serious conversations and crazy, hilarious ones too. We intuitively understand each other.
Nadine Mudalige is one of the most kind-hearted and driven people I know. She has always been there for me and I know that I can rely on her for anything. In fact, she was the first person I called when I found out about my thyroid cancer. We have so much fun together. We also share a very similar taste in music, which has seen us go to a couple of great concerts together (like when we were three rows from the front, swooning over John Mayer). Nadine’s resilience and perseverance never cease to amaze me. She knows what she wants and is not afraid to go after it, but is also very caring and always has the best interests of others at heart. I would be lost without her.
Ashleigh and Nadine are simply two beautiful people, inside and out, who I am so grateful to call my friends. And all I can say is that I look forward to many, many more years of our wonderful friendship!