My Tribe Of Mothers, Mentors & Mates

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Friendship is one of the greatest treasures of my life and is something i’ve been increasingly pondering about recently having fortuitously met several individuals who are fast becoming firm fixtures in my life. Isn’t it odd how sometimes there is an old intimacy with new friends and a simple ‘Hello’ can lead to a million things? Some of my most profound friendships have been formed in a few minutes. I just know. A new friendship is such a joyous thing, it refreshes your soul and shifts your perspective on life.

I’ve always been a deeply social being and thanks to my globally nomadic life and i’ve amassed a large tribe of brilliant comrades who are never ending contributors to my life. This tribe who have made the story of my life is a cluster of separate squads who each give me a strong sense of belonging, fill my life with laughter, my soul with sunshine and my heart with love. I’m lucky to have maternal figures for unconditional nurturing support, work mentors who’ve morphed seamlessly into friends while they’ve successfully guided my creative career and a whole heap of brilliant friends who champion me in all I do. Wherever I am, it’s my friends who make my world.

Perhaps my large and diverse tribe has formed as a result of my fascination of people. It can’t be a coincidence that i’m a figurative fashion illustrator, forever drawing people and obsessionally seeking to translate their lives visually?! I soak up people’s stories, constantly seek insight into their lives and cherry pick the best bits to influence my life. Everyone knows something you don’t so it’s best to surround yourself with smart people and listen. I find it thrilling to spend time with people who are very much unlike myself. You are the people you spend time with and the conversations you engage in so choose what you feed your mind with wisely.

There is no typical demographic or character blueprint to this tribe and it’s all a bit random. I’ve met friends in all the usual places (educational institutes, sports clubs, work, friends of friends) as well as in some more unusual places (planes, trains, supermarkets). This league of fabulous men and women are all at different stages of life and transcend generations, the lines between the years blur. I delight in the company of older, wiser (often bohemian-ly cool) friends who I stockpile thoughtful and candid advice from. There are no barriers to soulful connections.

It’s not within my nature to do superficial or sporadic friendships. From time to time relationships ebb and flow but even when we’re hidden in the cracks of each other’s lives I know they are still standing there. I communicate constantly with many (many) people by letter (a retro hang-up from boarding school), email, telephone call, text and if needs be carrier pigeon (well, almost). Getting together is a logistical minefield with dates thrown around like confetti so the modern luxury of the Whatsap group has been revolutionary!

My tribe are there for the joyous moments of my life, the times of struggle and the bits in-between. We’ve shared many halcyon days, we love each other fiercely and we don’t shy away from one another when life blindsides us. With them I can talk about anything and everything free from judgement and shame. Their input to my life is forever unapologetically frank and because I have nothing to prove to them, it’s them who I reach out to first when times are tough. They are forever there to pick me up after a life stumble and fill me with hope that the best is yet to come. When the chips are down they show up every single time and remind me I will see the dawn again. They are outspoken, unafraid, bold and honest. Real friends tell you when you aren’t living up to your potential, they don’t let you sit and be mediocre. The right friendships help you fulfil your destiny and it’s worth remembering you can’t talk butterfly language with caterpillar people. My friends are forever my needs answered.

At the end of the day I just want to be surrounded by good people, people who are good for me, good to me and good for my soul.

Us. Friends. Always.