Yesterday, I met up with my friend Georgie. She said something to me as we sat outside in the sunshine that made me blush, but feel proud. I could tell she was proud too, in a sort of sisterly way.
The first time I had a proper conversation with George was 2 or 3 years ago. I didn’t know her very well, but I was going through a bit of a hard time, and I needed someone to talk to. My message to her was probably something along the lines of:
‘I know this is a bit weird, but I really need a girly chat and some cocktails, and was wondering if you might be available.’
I remember we met up, we drank cocktails in Browns, we went for Champagne in Epernay, I whinged at her about boys and she told me some stories of her youth that made me feel incredibly boring and straight-laced!
Since then (and probably before that, really) I have had a great love and respect for Georgie. She’s provided me with lots of fun, introduced me to many nice people, let me sing at her wedding, and generally just been a delight to know.
Yesterday, she said that she couldn’t believe how much I had changed since she first met me, and how the Tessa she first met would never have done the things that I am doing now. There was a caterpillar/butterfly simile involved too…
She is referring to the fact that I am about to hop on a plane to NYC on my own, and that I did a similar thing in July when I went to California, and in May, when I took myself for a weekend in Paris.
When I think about, I know she’s right. For YEARS I have wanted to go to New York, each January 1st telling myself ‘this is the year’, but not managing it because I don’t have a travel-buddy, and the idea of going alone didn’t even register.
But this year, something changed. I realised that if I really wanted to do something, I would have to be prepared to do it on my own.
That’s why I went to Paris – to challenge myself. It was only 2 days, but it was completely on my own – I wanted to prove to myself that I was capable.
Then I had an invite to go to California, where I only knew one person (who I’d only really met twice..!) and I thought ‘Why not? If I don’t do it now, when will I?’ – so I went. It had a couple of challenging moments, but I had a great time.
The prospect of my NYC-dream becoming a reality was very close this Summer. Georgie introduced me to someone who had similar aspirations of a holiday in the Big Apple. We talked when, where, how.. and then it fell through.
Just as it did, however, I met a girl who lives there. She said I should totally come and visit. And I thought ‘Why not? If I don’t do it now, when will I?’ – and so I’m going. Yes, it’s sad that it’s not how I envisaged, but when do things in life ever turn out exactly the way you thought they would?
It’s nice to be able to look back at the person you were, and the person you are now, and be happy with the path you’re on. And Georgie helped me do that this weekend. I may not be without my moments of doubt, or my slips backwards/downwards, but I can see how far I’ve come, and I am happy with who I am.
I am proud to be able to say that, and thankful that I have many friends who can help me notice it.