This week my newsfeed has been dominated by people’s little ones starting school, with smiles and/or tears from all involved. Mine is still a couple years away from that milestone, so I’ve enjoyed looking at the pics without the emotional turmoil. But then one of my besties reminded me of my own milestone – it’s been an incredible 20 years since I started high school. I repeat: TWENTY years.
And what a sucky day that was. I vividly remember turning up on day one – a little half-Leb, with an awkward American accent and uncontrollable hair (thank Christ GHDs were invented, or I’d still be a virgin). I felt so small in a sea of (largely Anglo) private school girls and I quickly realised I was the only dickhead who’d written their personal details in whiteout on the outside of their school bag *face palm*. Walking through the grounds and having older bitches scream out my name and address (in Western Sydney, no less), was validation that I did not belong.
But actually I was soooo lucky, because I had friends. I came with a group of fellow un-cool-cats from my primary school. Over the years we collected some more good eggs and, believe it or not, we’re still friends, all these years later.
Although we’ve had some blowouts, many of which I still don’t really understand (girls, am I right?), the 12 of us have remained incredibly close. We’ve been through everything together – we’ve vandalised ex-boyfriends’ property, got lost in foreign lands, been each other’s bridesmaids and even godmothers to our children. We’ve celebrated the highs and carried one another through the lows, from relationship breakdowns to the devastation of losing grannies, parents and children.
People tell me this is such a rare thing, especially with women, because we can go through bitchy, judgy stages (see any comments section of any mummy publication). But we just don’t let this happen – we keep the bitching minimal (and funny), we’re quick to forgive (and drink wine), and, most importantly, when someone’s in a shit place we barge down their door ‘til they let us smother them with love and support. These women are the other loves of my life and it’s so empowering to know that no matter what happens, they’ll help me pick up the pieces.
So, to those little chickies starting school this week – please try and be yourselves. Your frizzy-haired, whiteout wearing, dorky selves, and find other good-hearted, unassuming, dorks. Because then you’ll have found your tribe for life and nothing feels as good as that.