THE MARK OF A TRUE FRIENDSHIP

There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.
— Thomas Aquinas

An avid traveller, one of my best friends is about to embark on another two year long journey to the United States. Macedonian by heritage, Australian by nurture and with adventure in her veins, Trisha Zileski is a free spirit. A best friend of 5 years now, we met in the early days of weekly club-hopping through a mutual best friend, bonded over an affinity for shots and the rest is history. Having spent her whole life in Australia, she fell in love with America on an early trip, and ever since then her heart has been her compass and she has done everything in her power to find her way back permanently.

Few times in my life have I met anyone who has taught me the depth of friendship. Trisha Zileski is one of a few, and as she preps to leave yet again, I found myself reflecting on the gift of true friendship that I have in her.

To my Trish, you’ve taught me so much - for my readers, these are the signs that you have a friendship worth cherishing.

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1 - YOUR FRIENDSHIP TRANSCENDS TIME AND SPACE.

We are ever-changing. Think back to five years ago: who were you and what were you doing? Me? I was 21, (relatively) newly single, one degree down with no idea what her next career move was, spending every weekend in a club consuming way too much alcohol, sleeping with makeup on and stressing way too much about boys. Five years of growth, hardship, pain, laughter, evolution and change - and my friendship with Trisha has been constant. In these past five years, she lived for years at a time in the United States, periodically spending time in Australia. We’ve both changed jobs, studied, finished degrees, celebrated, been in different stages of our lives and yet, our friendship has stayed the same.

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I remember the first time Trisha went to the United States, and life got in the way. We would check in but sometimes go weeks without speaking properly, and yet every time we spoke, it was like no time had passed. You know your friendship is solid when it withstands time and geographical distance - because you both know that life is to be experienced, you support each other to live it fully, and when you connect, time and distance are no hindrance.

2 - THEY INSPIRE YOU.

You might not know this about me, but I can be a little risk averse. At 20, I was convinced that I didn’t want to travel, I was content staying in Melbourne, lamenting over old failed relationships and just wanting to finish my degree. By 20, Trisha was already becoming quite well travelled, was an adventurer by blood, and saw the world for what it was: an endless horizon of opportunity. I have many role models, but I am most honoured to note that Trisha is one of them. A resilient woman, Trisha has triumphed over hard life experiences and used them to shape her wise-beyond-her-years view of the world, and create unwavering self belief.

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I often tell her that her ability to manifest her dreams scares the s**t out of me. Never one to take ‘no’ for an answer, she is that person who will find another way - and if that’s a closed door, she will find another way. Thats why she’s living her goals and about to go back home to the Big Apple for the umpteenth time. That’s why at 25, she has landed a job she is excited about in the city of her dreams. That’s why she has friends around the world, because her energy is infectious, positive and strong. Trisha has shown me that putting true passion, persistence and self-belief into the Universe reaps tenfold in return. She inspires me to trust in myself, because she has shown me that she can - and so, I’m inspired to believe that I can. If you have a friend who inspires you, hold onto them, they are magic.

3 - THEY ARE A SAFE PLACE FOR YOU - FREE OF JUDGEMENT.

Have you ever done something really stupid or dangerous? Or had something mortifying happen to you? Or experienced something really rough? I’ll lock in ‘All of the above.’ I’ve done a world of embarrassing things, gone through some really rough family times, been in the trenches, gotten into some relatively serious trouble and everything in between. Through it all - I’ve shared it with Trish. If your friend is someone you can call and bear the depths of your soul to, recognise what you have.

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Trisha is THAT trust-worthy and so free of judgement, that things I once considered my deepest darkest secrets, have been shared with her because she makes them feel like nothing more than honest discussions - as opposed to guilty disclosures. She listens empathetically, shares honesty in return and views me no differently. You need friends who have the respect and maturity to understand that you’re human, not parade your perceived shortcomings or insecurities as a point of gossip or judgement: a friend who would do for you as you should do for them.

4 - THEIR TIME AND FRIENDSHIP ARE UNCONDITIONAL - THEY SHARE THE GOOD AND THE BAD.

Whether I’ve just kicked a serious corporate goal, had a development in my blogging career, made some fun memories in my relationship or are going through some personal hardship, I am able to share the good and the bad with Trisha. I’ve had friends who are like fireflies - they stay close when you’re alight. When good times are rolling, they want in. But when the going gets tough, your energy is more negative than usual, and you need a helping hand more often than normal to get through, they are hard to come by.

A true friend shares both the highs and lows of life with you. Fleeting, flavour-of-the-month friendships are transient. Over the past five years, I’ve never kept a secret from Trisha and she’s always interested in the good, the bad, the boring and the amazing, as I am for her. Life is long and can be hard, find friends who want to be there because they’ll be a rock throughout.

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I hope these words inspire you to find a ‘Trisha’ who gives you the gift of true friendship and do the same for them. You’ll know the mark of true friendship when you experience it.

Bon voyage Trisha, and until next time to you all,

M x

Maria ThattilComment