If anything, the last two years have taught me more about myself than any other time in my life.
Yes, I turn 40 this year so that’s quite a milestone moment in itself, but throw in a global pandemic and suddenly I found myself completely reassessing what's actually most important to me.
Like, my friendships.
Obviously I knew I loved my friends before these hard couple of years, but this period has crystallised for me that human connection, and people who really know and love you, and whom you know and love, are far and away the most important things in life.
The Body Shop gets this too.
This Christmas season they have gone all out creating their Joy Hub which focuses on celebrating the importance of love, kindness and joy, and making sure that we all know that human connection and kindness is definitely what has kept us going during this difficult time.
This became so apparent to me over the past 18 months.
I live in Brisbane so I have been pretty lucky that I’ve been able to see some of my friends and loved ones at different points this year.
But so many of my closest people live interstate and overseas, and we have missed so much of each other’s lives.
One of my friends in Melbourne had a baby early this year.
Over FaceTime I’ve watched him grow from scrawny newborn to a chubby 8-month-old. I feel so lucky that the technology we have means that I’ve been able to do this, but oh my goodness, I am aching for a cuddle with that baby boy so much.
Another girlfriend, one of my oldest and closest friends went through a major breakup earlier this year.
Naturally, we got on the phone and watched Bridget Jones' Diary while simultaneously eating punnets of Häagen-Dazs — but it just wasn’t the same as being cuddled up on the couch together. It was also completely awful to have to watch her spend months alone during lockdown, adjusting to life without her ex whilst living by herself for the first time in years.
Other interstate and international friends have gotten work promotions, bought first homes, experienced being made redundant and met their great loves. I feel so very sad that I have missed celebrating or commiserating with them during these key life moments.
But I learnt three very unexpected but important lessons about friendships this year.