My friend Karrie and I are celebrating our ten year anniversary this month.
She informed me of this while suggesting a celebration – even though we both know organising anything with three kids to consider and 150 miles between us is a big ask.
Luckily I will see her in a few days when she becomes KD’s godmother – yep, that’s how far we’ve come since we first met on our post-graduate journalism course.
Being journalists, we both wanted to check the facts of our story – what exact day and time did we meet? Where exactly were we? What did we say to each other? Luckily a fairly solid source of information exists – my 2005 journal – which I climbed into the attic to find this morning.
Yep – there it was. September 28 2005.
“My course started properly today and I’ve already made friends with some lovely girls. Carrie and I have kind of bonded – after an hour of shorthand we went for a coffee……Carrie’s really sweet, she lives in Kelvinbridge so she gave me a lift home.”
I remember her wee curly head sitting in front of me as we listened to the course leader describe the module outlines and thinking “she has hair like mine, I wonder what product she uses?”
I read on to see what else I recorded, then went back to January and read about my whole year. It was a big one – I did my finals, I visited Chile and Argentina, I got a 2:1 with distinction in Spanish, I got engaged, I started my post-grad and met friends for life… Pulling my head out of that particular “penseive” was a wrench.
I sat on the couch pondering.
Ten years ago the only person I had to look after was myself. The only things I had to worry about were passing my exams, travelling safely in South America, getting into the post-grad, working on my coursework… me me me. Even though Rod and I were living together at the time I didn’t feel like I was looking after him. He was working on establishing his own career. We spent any extra money we had on nights out. I didn’t have my own car, I took the bus or walked. I didn’t spend much on clothes. I saved every penny for my trip to South America and then backpacked around. Long lies sometimes went on past lunchtime. The things that upset me were trivial – my sister’s perceived preferential treatment from mum and dad, missing out on a night out cos I was skint, lecturers marking too harshly…
Now my life is full and I am fulfilled. I mean, sure, I moan about lack of sleep and never having a second to myself, but my life is now a full paella, not just a prawn cocktail. All the groundwork of ten years ago has paid off. I got my post grad and a job as a journalist and now I’m running my own company. I visited the countries I’d read so much about, learned so much, and continue my love affair with the continent. I married Rod and we have two beautiful boys. Reading about my life a decade ago has made me realise how happy I am and how hard I’ve worked to get to this point.
On Sunday – just three weeks before our ten year anniversary – Karrie will officially join my family and I’m aware how blessed I am to have not only her, but all the wonderful people in my life.