Friends are priceless, especially those that have seen you grow up since you were a child. They are rare, and if you have one or some in your life from back that age, that is a treasure.

I have one close friend whom I met at the age of 5 at Kindergarten, who went through puberty with me, sharing all our sorrows about boys, then men, about career choices and career changes. We’ve walked very different paths in some ways, and then very similar paths in other ways. I feel extremely fortunate to have her in my life.

Her, her husband and newborn were some of the first visitors I recently hosted here in New Zealand.
One of the conversations I had with her husband, who doesn’t know me that well, was remarkable because it reminded me of a time not too long ago, when I was still working in my job as a big law firm associate – and when I was in a very different place emotionally. The two of them had come to visit me in Berlin at the time, I believe it was the first time that I met her then new love. As much as I enjoyed having them there, I was also quite stressed. It was a weekend but I had some important tasks to finish, and I remember going to work at least one day of that particular weekend. What he recalled now of our first meeting was that he had heard so much about me from our common friend, but that the person he finally met – I – was someone totally different, with empty eyes. “What is it that you see in her?” he had asked his partner, my Kindergarten friend, after our meeting. Now, years later, he said, he can see the sparkle in my eyes, they are alive.

I also recall my friend reminding me already at the time of the changes she perceived in me while working these many hours: the harshness, the coldness, the emptiness. She was a constant reminder and mirror, and I am so grateful for that.

The time back then was part of my path and I am also very grateful for the experiences I made, for the challenges they posed, for the people I met and got to work with. Yet life is so much more colourful today, there’s so much more joy, and I do feel much more connected with myself. To get or stay on that track of happiness, true friends are a huge help.

Thank you, my friend.