Best friends don’t send each other birthday cards, unless they’re halfway across the globe. On the morning of November 22nd, June and I woke Vivian up by barging into her room and belting out “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” until she stirred beneath the blanket. And then we pulled the covers away and sang again until she raised both arms to her ears to signal what wonderful singers we were.
All jokes aside, Vivian is a gem. I’ve known her for 11 years, since we were both nerdy little prefects at our high school. I still laugh at the memory of her trying to teach me how to curl my lashes for the first time: We were 17. (What 17-year-old didn’t know how to use an eyelash curler?! Me.) We were stuck in the tiny dressing room of a department store trying to apply mascara and I kept cringing because I thought I was going to clip my eyelids with the eyelash curler. She had to convince me that I wasn’t going to be blind. And thanks to her, now I can’t imagine life without eyelash curlers.
Eyelash curling was just a speck on the broad list of things she’s inspired me to do. She’s a strong, independent and confident young woman who fights hard for what she wants. Her determination is proof that anything can be accomplished with the right amount of perseverance: including that 12km marathon that we joined a few weeks back. The 17-year-old Vivian hated running. But the 24-year-old Vivian finished the race before June and I even arrived at the finish line.
We used to cry over failed relationships, and then console ourselves with chocolate and ice cream after. She was beside me every step of the way, even when I was abroad. Distance never became an issue — she was only a Whatsapp or Skype call away. I’ll always be glad that I got to share her adventures as a law student in the UK and experience all the highs and lows with her (also via Whatsapp and Skype). Despite the time differences, she never failed to make time to chat and pull me through some of my roughest moments.
I’ve seen her grown over the years into the woman she is today, and I’m so proud of her. She’s come a long way to be where she’s at, and has transitioned through various life-changing phases over the years. But one thing stays constant: She’s still the quick-witted, brilliant, lovable and beautiful Vivian I know. Some things will never change. 🙂