There’s a special brand of friend that hopefully many have the blessing of acquiring at some point in their lives. It takes a certain level of maturity and let’s all be honest, getting through some serious shit to make it to these types of friends. These are the friends you have gotten off your bed, gone to a class or event or anything else purposeful and deliberate and found. You don’t know who they’ll be or how they will find you when you do this but it is what you do. They aren’t just convenient friends from school, or friends of a boyfriend or mutual friend. They are your people who came to you when you were ready. And they are the ones you know will stick.
These friends of mine, my true and genuine people, came to me through the art of burlesque. I’ve danced my whole life. People have come and gone. But this class was different. Burlesque for me has been very different. It’s shifted my life and helped mould me into the fabulous person I am today. It was something I choose, and did so because I was ready to own my body, my sexuality and myself. And I was rewarded with some truly spectacular people.
Sammy was first. She was this bizarre and bubbly sunbeam of a woman. So beautiful and enthusiastic about life and about performing. We both love chick flicks and dancing our arses off to 80s music and drinking far too much wine. She has the most awe inspiring gift of a voice, I never get sick of listening to her croon our literally any style of music she can do them all. Blues, pop and even opera, the kind that shatters mirrors and takes your breath away.
We both needed someone who would make an effort for the friendship. We both treasure when the other calls out of the blue for a chat or a wine. We have both had friendships when we felt we were doing all the heavy lifting. But the two of us are equals to each other. And we have so much fun and connect on so many levels.
Em was next. We didn’t know it but we actually met a year prior to our dance class meet cute. When I bought her adorable desk and she dropped it off in her massive silver Ute. Clearly we were meant to be in each other’s lives.
We connected at burlesque, she gave me rides and I listened to her wild stories about her life, her partners and all the wonderful different things she had done so far. How she was almost 30 but was switching up her career and her life goals. This inspired me so much. Made me want to do the same thing. She had this fantastic stick it to the man attitude that I shared. She loved the beach and nature and music. And she brought my first real love into my life. Someone who I am no longer with but who I cam so glad I met and shared some of my life with because it wouldn’t be as good without that experience. My bond with Em never shook amidst the break up. We became stronger, learned to communicate better and she helped me through my grief.
Shea was next. Such a fabulous mix of a woman. So unwaveringly kind and hilarious. She gives her whole self to so many people. She makes me want to always be there for her and share my life with her. She is the absolute enigma of a human who can drink like an absolute trouper, stay out until 5am every day of the weekend and be daisy fresh Monday for her extremely grown up job as a high school teacher. She introduced me to the glorious art of watching soccer in the summer sun with a can of Sunkist laced with Tequilla and for that I will be forever grateful.
She and her partner Phil are the rock solid couple we all aspire to be a little like. In no way perfect, they have been through a huge array of trials and tribulations in their life. But they are each other’s forever and they know it so completely.
Each of these girls has brought something so different and so special into my life. We have the kind of friendships where even if one of them moves, or another goes on a roundtrip of Australia in a van like a loon, that we will persevere, and they will be there for me no matter what. And for that I am eternally grateful.