Though we became friends in year 9, my BFF & I have known each other since year 3 and used to be sworn enemies in a draw-off to the death. Not really. We just used to compete at who could draw our teacher better, and our teacher would put both our pictures (and everybody else’s) on the wall behind her desk. Shannon, my not-BFF at the time, was adamant that my depiction of ‘water fountain’ hair was not true to our teacher, Miss Jarretts, style. In hindsight, I really foresaw the future trends because now everybody is wearing that style *sassy emoji*. Truth be told I can’t even remember what I didn’t like about Shannon’s picture, I was obvs just jealous. She can still draw now though, and I can’t, so there you have it.
Fast-forward to today, Shannon and I have been BFF’s for a solid 15-ish years. There are studies online which say that the average BFF-friendship only lasts 16 years – meaning we have only 1 year left until we expire! Doubt it though. She’s my gal, and despite everything that has gone on in our lives, we remain a constant.
Truth be told, a few years ago we had a falling out which lasted about 1-3 years (it felt like a million so I actually genuinely don’t know how long we weren’t talking). In the period before that we were running in completely different directions and it seemed like we were kicking dirt in each other’s faces while we were doing it, so we essentially just stopped communicating. It was the hardest thing, breaking up with a BFF. I had never experienced that kind of pain before. All of a sudden, I had nobody to reminisce and share old stories with, and nobody to talk/vent to when something else sh*t was going on. It was like a normal break-up, ten-fold. So many inside jokes were wasted on ears that didn’t understand, and so many Spice Girl and Lady Gaga songs went un-karoke’d to.
It got to the stage, about 2-ish years ago now, when I had had enough of not being friends anymore. So, I added Shannon on Facebook, and just left it at that to begin with. The next day she had accepted my request and sent me a message. This happened when Isaac & I were still living in Wodonga, and the isolation I felt while we were living there was real. I needed my BFF back, so when I saw she had accepted I was over the moon (‘you go, Homer’ – inside joke – if you watch The Simpsons you may recognise it).
Friendships are tricky, but they’ll give you back 1000x what you put in. During high school it was just known that where there was Ali, there was Shannon. And vice versa. To my Dad, Shannon is known as ‘her other daughter’, because we would always have sleepovers every possible night of the week. I have a feeling we even got to have a during the week, the illusive SCHOOLNIGHT, sleepover at some stage, and that was a real win in the ‘our parents trust us’ book, also the ‘if you don’t let us have this sleepover we will be on MSN all night with each other anyway’ book.
When you’re at school, and even when you’re fresh out of school, it seems easy to maintain friendships. You’re with each other all the time anyway. But it slowly gets to a stage when new interests and new friend groups form and making your BFF a priority becomes harder. And to a point that is understandable, and your BFF will totally get it. But when it starts to go beyond that, you know it’s either time to bow out or have a serious chat in the least. Because of how irritable (bowel syndrome – inside joke, circa schoolies 2008) we became towards each other, we went with the former and simply ceased communication over time. I think because of the way we choose to let things come to a natural end, it helped in picking things up again a couple of years later.
We had no solid reasons to hate each other or anything of the sort, we just knew that we weren’t seeing eye-to-eye and at that time it couldn’t be resolved. But after ongoing Instagram stalks of each other in the proceeding years, we both clearly saw the changes the other was making and decided that not being BFF’s again wasn’t an option. So, we picked things up as if there was never a break at all. And the awesome thing was that we had so much to update each other on there was no opportunity for awkward silences, and honestly I don’t think we’ve experienced one of those in our entire friendship anyway – it’d just get filled with one of us making a weird noise, asking the other if they want some food, or quoting a line from Family Guy, or that one time when I thought we were watching Edward Scissor Hands but we were watching Sweeney Todd *am actually currently laughing*…
Anyway, we don’t get to catch up often because I live in Brisbane and Shannon is in Townsville. But what we do get to do is reach out whenever we’ve got the chance and let the other know how well they’re doing, and how proud we are of them chasing their goals. I’m stoked for Shannon right now, she’s chasing (and crushing) her goals in the fitness world and ‘year 9 Shannon’ would never have seen it coming; we hope to collaborate one day soon and produce something super amazing for you. We also get to catch up when one of us is visiting the other town, and we get to send random funny things that only we would find funny.
So, I know this blog is full of a few inside jokes. And I know it might seem like a bit of a hodge podge, but what is my point in sharing all of this with you? My point is that having a BFF and holding on to them for dear life is totally worth it; but so too is letting them go for a while so that you can both grow into yourselves if that is what needs doing. I wouldn’t trade what we’ve got for anything, and I can’t wait for Shannon to stand by my side as my Maid of Honour when I marry the love of my life later this year. I honestly couldn’t have it any other way.
Here’s a quick list of just some of the reasons I love my Shannon:
1. She’s hilarious, I can’t even count the amount of times I have cry laughed in her presence.
2. ‘Is this Planet of the Apes?’ ‘I’m not sure’ ‘we’ll have to keep watching to find out’… *ad breaks go by which clearly say that it’s Planet of the Apes which is on*…’So, this is Planet of the Apes…?’
3. This one time, when we were 17, Shannon had a broken foot and we had no plans on a Friday night, so we played a drinking game together, but all we had to drink was water… #wild
4. She’s currently ensuring her dreams become a reality by completing her Cert 3 & 4 in Fitness, while working full time… that is pure commitment. #proudBFFmoment
5. She introduced me to Tim Burton and Family Guy.
6. Preserves… I need not say more.
7. One time we drove all the way to Airlie Beach (a 4 hour drive) on a spur of the moment whim, she forgot her wallet, and we didn’t have any music to listen to because that was before iPhones did that and my iPod was dead… so this was the day we nailed Spice Girls’ ‘Wannabe’.
8. She loves & accepts me, even though before we had our friendship-break I was a bit of a d*ck…
9. Crumble top apple high-pie.
10. She’s super duper talented, she can sing, dance, draw and act. Plus she can make some mean mashed potato. And she’s really pretty. And she can walk-wyk-indiana-jones….
Having a BFF is the best (why else would 60% of my list be inside jokes?), and I know sometimes you just wanna stay at home and not do anything and not talk to anybody, but your bestie is worth the time and energy. Don’t let her down. And plus, if you guys are anything like Shannon and I, you’ll be happy to stay in together on Friday night watching Sex and the City in your jarmies, playing drinking games with water because alcohol is the devil, and eating apple pie ‘til the cows come home!
Go stalk your bestie on Insta and give her some love! It’s the least you could do!
Ps. Happy 28th Birthday my Shannonah, I love you like I could never love any other. Here’s to another year of old-man-cry-laughing and planning all the adventures that we will take eventually when we are rich & famous. xx #AustraliasNextTopModels
Pps. ‘Why don’t we just buy her a stapler and wrap it brown paper with dog poo on it?!’
Ppps. I couldn’t pick which photos to use… can you tell?