I had dinner with a couple of my dearest friends recently, we saw a show at the comedy festival (Judith Lucy, she was brilliant) and afterwards we walked from the Melbourne Arts Centre to a nearby restaurant.
As we sat and perused the menu I thought about asking the waiter to take our photo, I’ve been meaning to get a photo of us together for a while, but time goes by and we rush off after our get together and the photo never seems to happen. I thought of my reaction to having photos taken these days, “try to make me look younger and thinner” is my standard (only half joking) instruction as I hand over the iPhone. When I looked at my friends I realised I wouldn’t want a thing about them enhanced or filtered.
There they sat two people that have been my friends since we worked together at my first ‘real’ job in Australia in 1989. Then we were fresh faced girls in our early 20’s, not yet married, and years before we had children. We worked, shopped and socialised as you do at that age. We had different friendship groups as well, but our lives remained closely intertwined.
Since then, we’ve experienced so much; each of us has had our cross to bear at various times throughout the years, marriage, childbirth, parenting, divorce, bereavement and illness. They’ve all been visited on one or all of us. The constant has been our friendship.
When I look at the three of us, I’m proud of what I see. The faces look older yes, but I’ll be damned if I allow myself to see that as a negative. Those faces tell the story of our lives, our experiences, our tragedies and our triumphs. I’m not going to let the media and the cosmetics industry brain wash me into believing that those signs of maturity must be erased to make us more acceptable to society. There is a beauty in their faces that can’t be surgically or cosmetically applied.
I wanted to write this ode to friendship to express my gratitude. To have such friends, and to be lucky to have other friends as well. People that have shared my journey through life so far, that have been there, supported and encouraged me and who I hope will think the same about me. It’s these connections, along with family connection that make us rich and make our lives truly meaningful. I hope they know how much I love and appreciate them, and look forward to continuing to age (gracefully or not!) with them.
For anyone feeling lonely or isolated, there are people out there willing to build these friendships with you. Being open to other people can be frightening and make us feel vulnerable, but the rewards are so much greater than the fear. If confidence, anxiety or depression are issues there is help available, as Clinical Hypnotherapist and Counsellor I can help. There are numerous professionals available and ready to help you. If you are seeking the help of a professional always ensure that they are properly qualified and members of the appropriate associations for their profession.
If you are unsure where to begin, perhaps start by joining the social club at work, a community group or activity or a volunteer organisation. Your local council will have information about what is available in your locality.
Some suggested sites are listed below:
Georgina Mitchell was born in Ireland, moving to Australia in 1989. Georgina spent many years working in senior management in the Corporate world, before leaving to pursue her passion to become a Therapist.
Melbourne Hypnotherapy Blog
Please note as with all therapies, Results for Therapies delivered by Hypfocus may vary from person to person