SLIDER

THE BEST FRIEND I HAVE NEVER MET

Hey everyone! Today, I wanted to talk to you about someone very dear to me - Olivia, the best friend I have never met.

It all started way back in October 2009. I was just starting my final year of secondary school. Probably the most important academic year of my life. My Leaving Certificate exams were a mere 8 months away. And I, like a lot of 16 years olds, found the internet to be a perfect escape from the pressures of reality.
On one, I'm guessing lonely evening I randomly joined a site called 'Interpals' as the name suggests, it was a place to find pen pals from around the world. Don't let that fool you though, I feel like Olivia and I were a rare case. It was mostly just full of creepy old Turkish guys looking for your Kik (still no clue what that even is!)

Some how, through the dozens of sleazy messages from men or desperate pleads for friendship from crazy cat ladies wanting to improve their English I came across one from a girl, the same age as me from New Zealand and the winner - she seemed normal! so I replied and the rest, as they say, is history (Even though she is still a bit of a crazy cat lady too hehe)

These were my teenage years. When everyone in school had created an idea in their mind about you without even talking to you. You were judged on your popularity, who you hung out with and what other people thought of you. 

But Olivia didn't have any preconceptions of me and I had none of her. We lived a world apart (literally) we had no mutual friends, we couldn't judge each other on our mannerisms or our appearance or on things we had heard about the other. This gave us the opportunity to properly connect.

I was not afraid to be completely myself when I was talking to her and at 16 when you're sort of trying to be someone you're not, someone better, that was so freeing. 

Looking back now our friendship was pretty instant. We hit it off right away and talked about everything and anything into the wee hours of the morning, well, it was only the afternoon for her! Unlike my 'real life' friends, there was absolutely nothing I felt uncomfortable talking to her about. I knew she would never judge me. She has helped me through so many problems in my life, providing an objective eye, she has always given me amazing advice and really showed how much she cares. I don't know how I would have gotten through some things without her.

We have both changed and grown up so much since 2009 but somehow we have managed to never grow apart. We have seen each other through leaving school, going through college, many different boyfriends and friendships, getting jobs, and learning how to be adults.

Even though she is quiet possibly the furthest human away from me on this planet physically, she is the one who is always closest when I feel like a chat. For almost 8-years she's only ever been a Facebook message or Whats App away and even though we don't always talk every single day and sometimes we have gone for months without talking, I always know she is there and because of her, I never ever feel alone. 

It is true, the internet can be a scary and dangerous place but I think Olivia and I are proof that it can also be the most amazing thing. We are like minded souls on opposite sides of the planet and without the internet we would never know of the others existences. The idea of that makes me very sad because I know for a fact that these past 8 years of my life would have been far less colourful without her in it.  

Olivia, I know you're reading this - I love you and I can't wait for the day I get to squish you with hugs! <3 

On a little side not, one of the difficult things about being online friends is not being able to experience things together. So we thought one way of getting around this would be to read the same book at the same time. This way I guess we are both experiencing the same world a little bit. We had the idea of making this into a little blog series here. I would review each book and she would also contribute to my blog with her thoughts on the book. The first book we are doing is 'The Girl on The Train' I would love to know what you think of this idea! Let me know in the comments.

 Sinéad x

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