“There are good ships and wood ships,
the ships that sail the sea.
But the best ships are friendships,
and may they always be.”
Curveballs are thrown at us by life through the organisation of fate. To test us. To stop us getting complacent. To force a needed slice of humble crumble each time fate decides that we need one. In hindsight, I would be living a very different life without this particular plot twist to my life. My curveball was my lifeline, and her name was Taylor Barbour.
Why swim in a sea of stars when you can learn far greater things from the moon? The moon shines in her own light. Confidently, cutely, contrastingly. A mystery to those around her and a gift to those that get to know her. After fleeting encounters, fate one day put the moon on my table in the form of a classroom. Taylor was, and still is, the epitome of friendship. Taylor was, and still is my best friend. Taylor was, and still is, a person I aspire to be like. Outspoken and outstanding, the moon held her ground at times when stars (who cannot shine without darkness) would flicker under the pressure. The moon knew who she was whilst this star questioned their shine. Concrete in her opinions and comfortable in her beliefs, it was difficult not to fall under the spell of the moon. Like a moth to a flame and a match to a firework, we became best friends all at once; credit to the notorious confidence coat called alcohol. 😉 😉
It was almost as if the moon could see the faulty fuse that struggled the maintain the sparkle of a star, and her presence wove the wires back into place, whilst stitching the wounds of heartbreak to an over-sized heart whose stories she was yet to be told. The time I spent with Taylor put a lightning strike through the clouds of my anxiety so that a silver lining could be seen and steadily found. How many people can you say that about?
Taylor showed me what true friendship meant. It didn’t stem from roots in history, ours grew from a passion for the same things, a knowledge of the world via paperbacks and a sense of humour that brought out a rare thousand watt smile on my face. And all she did was be herself. Knowing I would see Taylor each week was like waking up to a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. No matter what colour my mood was that day, Taylor would always be the highlight of my week and more often than not, my day. She flattered me by showing a degree of loyalty to me. She flattered me by having confidence in me when I didn’t have any in myself. She flattered me by simply just wanting to be my friend and continuing that commitment six months later and four thousand miles away. The stitches of good deeds and kind words bound us in a bond unlike any other.
When insignificant people shattered my heart and left tears raining down my face, Taylor unknowingly softened the sharp edges of the pieces by giving me advice in a way that I’d understand exactly why this “love” deserved to go up in flames. She did this by comparing it to novels that stole my heart (Gatsby) and by casting the spotlight on the future and blinding any cobwebs of doubt. Like the moon, sides of Taylor remained hidden and the hands of time wouldn’t stop me from learning about her. I’d been spoiled by getting so close to the moon. I wanted all the people in my life to be as open- minded and diverse as Taylor, but reality brutally reminded me that on earth, there is only one moon and that when it comes to long-term friendships, quality should always come before quantity.
Before I left the USA I was fortunate enough to be thrown a second curveball in the form of the sun (Madison) that brought a burning heat to my life that completely thawed the sharp and frozen edges of my core. It was bittersweet because it happened at the end of the “American Adventure” and that was, and still is at times, extremely difficult to overcome. As Katy Perry once stated, ‘how do I get better once I’ve had the best?’ Two independent individuals that in some ways, showed me what it meant to live. They may shine at different times of the day but both became essential to my constellation. To my bouquet of faces.
My days in the presence of the sun and the moon may have been short, but the memories were the light of my life ‘burned into my soul like ink unto my skin.’ The moon had a monumental effect on my life and the sun was an exposure to a heat, a flame of a friendship that I could not be without. And without these friendSHIPS, swimming amongst the stars was never the same again. Some things, are just written in the stars by the book of fate.
“Perhaps it’s true that you can’t go back in time, but you can return to the scene of a love, of a crime, of happiness, and of a fateful decision; the places are what remain, are what you can possess, are what is immortal.” – A Field Guide to Getting Lost, by Rebecca Solmit.