I’ve known Rachael for a very long time. As in I can’t-actually-remember-when-we-first-met kind of long. I can pinpoint the exact moment I liked her though. We’d both had babies a few weeks apart and were missing out on a weekend hen do. We’d had a brief chat about going for just one night but were both a bit nervous because we didn’t know each other outside of our group. We’d never done the crucial one on one.
How it started
Anyway, we ended up driving up the M60 heading for Liverpool and by the time we got out of the car I loved her. Rachael is instantly likeable. She talks a mile a minute and is so beautifully open about her life and her feelings. She can change her mood in a millisecond but has no problem admitting it and though she makes apologies all the time for being a nutcase, she is still always uncompromisingly herself. Rachael is refreshing. I’d like to be more like Rachael.
So after this trip to Liverpool and realising we had much more in common than a fresh birth story and mutual pals, we sailed into an easy friendship; still very much bound by being part of the same group but knowing we could be in a room on our own together too.
How it’s going
When I hit a wall in 2021 and felt like things were falling down around me, it was Rachael I first spoke to. By this point she regularly did my lashes so I was used to spending over an hour with her waffling away and felt comfortable enough to let her in on the fact I wasn’t doing too well. I was right to. Rachael didn’t judge me, she just listened to me, made me laugh and reassured me that I wasn’t going insane. Rachael had been through things far far worse than me yet never made me feel small.
My point with all of this, isn’t just to oil Rach’s ego. The reason I wanted to write about it is because I’d believed that my friendship with Rachael was already embedded, that we had settled into the roles we would have in each other’s lives. I’d been so wrapped up in my bff before we broke up that I didn’t really allow anyone else in. It can kind of feel like you either have old friends or new friends, you don’t stop to think that with old friends you can find new friendships.
I still don’t see Rachael as often as I’d like and despite me telling her we should get a night out booked in, she’s yet to commit. Yet I know that the barriers of our friendship have moved and that she’s one of my absolute go-tos now. It’s been just as fun and enlightening building on a friendship I already had as it has been making new ones. I love that. I love that I got to embrace something totally new out of something old and familiar. I’m no guru and you can read this and tell me to hop on my sentimental old bike, but if you are trying to navigate new friends, maybe look at those you already have. Don’t be afraid to change the dynamic and show them a different side of yourself.
There’s so many different types of friendships and they should all be celebrated for each little thing they bring out in you and you in them. Even when your years deep it can just take one conversation to catch a whole different vibe. Rachael once told me I was one of her favourite friends to be around. I think she was just saying it cos I was lying on her beauty therapist chair and feeling vulnerable, but it’s still one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me and I’ll never forget it. I’ve not even got a witty line to end on. I’m just going to bask in my warm and fuzzies for a while instead x