It was an unexpected Facebook message which read, “Hello! Hope all is as well as can be. I am going to be in South Africa from 4th to 8th August (work-related) and I will be in JHB on 4th and 5th August near Melrose Arch. If you can spare a coffee or quick meal, I’d LOVE LOVE LOVE to see you both!” OMG! One of my best friends from high school was coming from Portugal to SA!
From left to right: Vicky, Me, Monica (who moved to Portugal) and Karen
The last time I saw Vicky was when my parents bought me a plane ticket to Portugal for my 21st birthday 18 years ago. Our only contact since then had been via Facebook. So I was incredibly nervous as my other best friend from high school and I sat on the couch waiting for her to come down and meet us in the hotel reception. What would we say? How would it all go down?
As I saw her, I could not control my tears! And in those first few minutes, all we did was stare at one another and hug and stare and giggle. It was so surreal. We had aged but still felt like teenagers looking into each other’s eyes.
Later, as we sat around baskets of dim sum, the emotions flicked between moments of uncontrollable laughter to those of intense sadness. The storytelling went from exotic travel destinations, new inventions on to tales of separation and death.
It’s weird. It felt like yesterday that we were strolling around the school corridors but here, 18 years later, each one of us had or is living through some of the toughest times of our lives. Comforting one another seemed natural and instinctive.
A lot happens in 18 years. We grew up. I never would’ve thought that I’d be sitting around a table chatting to my best friends from school about what I had planned for my 40th birthday. Crazy!
Pals, thanks for a wonderful evening of reminding me what great friendship is all about. You guys are awesome! X
I’ve recently been part of a team interviewing potential candidates for a position in the department. Scanning through CV’s and watching how different people use different skills to ‘sell’ themselves has been quite interesting to observe.
Some people pride themselves on their qualifications. Others attempt to impress with future plans of obtaining MBAs. But then there are those that have caught my attention just because they are so down to earth and ‘real’ that its easy to see how they have gotten to where they have, simply by having the right attitude.
I know everyone has heard the lessons about having the right attitude. But it’s when I came across some old photographs of my High School netball courts that some valuable lessons were remembered.
I’ll admit that I wasn’t exactly the strongest or best player in the team. I think for the majority of my high school years, I was the reserve for the B-side! But hey, I never gave up. I landed up playing quite a few games and that’s all that mattered.
We once played an away game at another school and I went with as reserve and landed up being asked to play. When we were changing in the locker rooms, I realised that although I had packed in my takkies, I had accidentally packed in two left shoes (yes, I had two pairs of takkies that looked similar).
My heart sank!
There was no going back and I had to play. The only person I told was my best friend and she giggled herself silly throughout the game as I ran around trying not to look like a total spaz with my two left feet. Nobody noticed (or if they did, no one said anything) and we went on to win the match.
In my humble opinion, sometimes the degrees and certificates you have are great. But often, it’s your attitude that determines how you approach life and see the world. It’s your attitude that makes you a winner.