Personal Wardrobe Styling

“My friends are my estate” – Emily Dickinson

I stumbled across this quote years ago and when I read it, it hit me right between the eyes. ‘My friends are my estate’…BOOM! What a beautiful way to attach meaning to those we are attached to.

Friends have always been of deep significance to me. My personality type from a young age demonstrated loyalty, devotion and tenacity for my inner circle. I have a sensitive nature so choose carefully those whom I trust. I’m a connector, too. In my work and community, where possible, I like to bring motley crews of people together.

I’ve suffered terrible betrayals, have been let down and rejected and have been left alone to eat lunch by myself at school because, well, high school girls can be nasty. I’ve also disappointed others, let them down and not been the friend others expected me to be.

But always and every time, I come back to friendship. As Emily says, it is wealth. As much as I intend to be wealthy and have no issue with accumulating monetary wealth; money can not comfort you when life has dropped you off in the ditch. Money can not tell you that everything will be ok, that you will find your way and that you are loved. Very importantly, we can give this kind of love to ourselves but sometimes the cup is empty and the road is long; we need our friends around us.

One of the values of Aesthetica is friendship and it’s not tokenistic. Each of the people in the photo above are my friends. I met each of them at three different workplaces in variations of being their manager, being mentored by them or just being a colleague. To me; friendship pervades everything. I am friends with many of my exes (many, not all). I have developed important and meaningful friendships with people that I have managed, doing away with that adage that bosses and friendship don’t mix.

Today I saw a friend that I only get to see a few times a year. We talk every week but due to distance; we don’t get to actually hang out that often. Whenever I see her though, I feel completely myself. There is no act. There is no façade. No effort. I first came across her years ago when I moved to a small town; I was the new manager on the block and was essentially, hated. People can often have this reaction to me; I am tall and I stand tall in who I am. I am kind as well as competent and confident. Whilst I don’t intend to upset anyone, my presence often does. I’ve learnt that this is their issue, not mine.

However, before I was in such a place of self-acceptance and confidence, I was the opposite. I suffered for years at the hands of people ostracizing me because they misunderstood me, because they perceived me as a threat when I could have been their ally. This aforementioned friend looked past all the haters and said, “Nah, I like this chick”. And we’ve been friends ever since. She has seen me blunder my way through work crises, family crises, personal crises and more recently, has been right on the side-line cheering me on as I have found my way through work success, personal success and business success. Your real friends are the one who support you in your success, not just in your sadness.

So, when I see her and am around her, I feel safe. We’ve had fights and misunderstandings. We’ve had hard conversations. We’ve had moments. Although all of this is normal in friendships, I don’t take any of this for granted. Back in my church/cult days when I prayed to Jesus every day (another blog for another day), I had highlighted in my Bible lot of beautiful scriptures about friendship. This one has always stood out to me:

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend”

This scripture isn’t talking about stabbing your friend. It’s saying you can trust the words of a friend. This isn’t to say we go around arbitrarily spouting our observations to our friends, regardless of how it will make them feel; it means that those we trust leverage that trust to graciously shine some light and in turn, can be trusted for doing so.

On reflection, I realise this early influence of prose may have influenced my approach to friendship. A few other scriptures from the old Bible that come to mind include;

Two are better than one…pity the man who falls and has no one to help them up.

Gossip separates close friends

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another

A sweet friendship restores the soul

Some friends play at friendship, but a true friend sticks closer than one’s nearest kin

This last one is especially significant for me. I’ve been terribly misunderstood by family and over the years and it has been my friends who have become my chosen family. In fact, it was my friends who have shown me what non-judgement, unconditional love, acceptance and support truly means.

I’ve lived in about 10 different towns/cities/countries as an adult, be it pursuit of adventure or just plain curiosity. Who knows? What I do know that is that where your friends are, that is home. Perth is home now and has been for the past three years. I am genuinely stunned to look around me and see the friendships I’ve built during this time.

Gratefully, so so gratefully I have close friends around me now; both in Perth and in other places. And when you’re launching and growing a business it is never more evident. It was a friend that commented on my last blog post, it was a friend that organized a catch-up to help me out of my breakup malaise, two friends have booked in with me this week; one for career guidance, another for a styling experience. It was a friend who I coached with interview preparation that got her job yesterday. It was a friend who offered me a kinesiology session last week. It was a friend of a friend who I took through a full style experience a couple of weeks ago. It was friends who were the models in my branding shoot and supported me in behind the scenes last year. It’s been a long-time work friend who sends me messages of such faith and belief in me and Aesthetica that I am humbled someone should be wishing so much for my success. The list goes on.

Always and every time, it’s friends. And always and every time it will be friends. As I’m not having kids and may never have a long-term partner, it will be my friends who will be with me in old age. It will be my friends who I follow into the dark. Always, its friends.

When Emily D said “my friends are my estate” I easily understood how the wealth she saw in friendships was comparable to the value of a vast aristocratic fortune. In many ways, the value of friendships eclipses it. My friends provide me with the love and support I need to pursue my dreams and this makes me rich, in all the ways one can be.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *