TO MY DEAR FRIEND SHAUNA
Shauna and I met about seven years ago in school and we became best friends after spending our Friday evenings together in drama classes followed swiftly by nights in my local youth club, the Loft.
She was always a complete fireball – Shauna was crazy. I think that might’ve been what made her so good at drama… she just threw herself into anything she did and managed to inject an entirely “Shaunaified” stamp on everything that she took part in. Naturally, I liked her from the very start.
Growing up, we went through many the mid-teen crisis. There were so many important people who came in and out of our lives and in a way they shaped much of who we became once we finally grew up. I have so many memories of curling up together, tucked away in corners of parties, houses and cafes drifting through conversation about all the things that were getting us worked up at the time. Now, of course, they all seem so little and insignificant, and to be honest, I can’t remember half of the things that we considered massive issues at the time, but what I do remember is getting past all these with Shauna. Getting through the breakups, the scandals, the fights and the falling outs were always so much easier because I knew that at the drop of a hat I could land at Shauna’s with a packet of crisps and chocolate and she’d be there for as long as I needed her to be. Key point: I’d be having the chocolate, she’d be taking the crisps – that was a foundational part of forming our friendship and to this day still remains as much.
Some of the greatest laughs and adventures I’ve had have been with this woman. I’ve jumped into freezing cold rivers dressed like a ridiculous looking forest pixie and I’ve gone sword-fighting in forts at the top of Donegal. I’ve driven out and back for nights out in the middle of no where and I’ve gone for gigs around the county to support The Matthew Trainor Experience – the band she’s a part of. Yup, along with everything else, Shauna is an incredible musician. More on this later.
We sat through many school lunches together, we celebrated when each of us got our exam results and we share a mutual love of cats. I like cake, she likes crisp cake.*(That’s just a bowl of crisps by the way and not some form of intricately made baking sensation as one might otherwise imagine. I speak from experience.)
Shauna knows me far too well too. To this day, one of the best gifts I’ve ever received was a set of windscreen wipers for the car two years ago. (Not even remotely bothered by how sad a reflection that is of my life.) It was a private joke, but we laughed about it every time we sat into the car for months afterwards. Now I can’t drive anywhere in rainy weather without thinking of her.
Anyway before I go on too much, here’s the things I appreciate most about Shauna:
Things I like most about Shauna:
- Her sense of humour.
- Her fashion – she’s got an amazing style. I want all of her dresses. All of them.
- Her quirkiness. Not just in style, but personality – Shauna is always up for anything that might lead to a story or two.
- Her words of advice. It doesn’t matter how trivial an issue is, Shauna always seems to have some excellent wisdom to impart on the topic. She’s always made me feel like anything that bothers me, even if I know it’s stupid, is of huge importance. That means a lot to me – I realise how incredibly lucky I am to have someone like Shauna because of it.
- How genuine she is. Shauna is the most loving, caring and genuine person that you’ll ever come across.
- Our arguments. Growing up, Shauna and I have had MANY arguments. There have been nights where we’ve been raging at each other followed swiftly by mornings where we’ve laughed about it over breakfast. I’ve reached that stage of comfort in our friendship where it doesn’t matter what we say to each other, our friendship is pretty much rock solid at this stage. Short of some form of criminal offence against all those I know and love, she can’t really say or do anything that I get offended by. Even then I’d say the offence would have to be something pretty outrageous for me to stay mad at her.
- Cocktails. We’ve indulged in many and they’ve all been great.
- Her lyrics. Shauna writes the most wonderful poetry.
- Her ability to persuade me to do almost anything, no matter how against it I am. Invariably, I always end up enjoying whatever it is we do.
- Her conversations – I can talk about anything with Shauna. Anything.
Things that Shauna is great for:
- Music. Shauna is an incredibly gifted musician. As I said before, Shauna has an ability to make things her own and put a “Shaunaified” stamp on them. This translates so well into her music – her songs, her covers, her lyrics – they tell so much about Shauna that people otherwise wouldn’t get to see. I love it.
- She’s one of the strongest people I know. Down through the years I’ve seen Shauna cope with things time and time again in ways that I know I couldn’t if I were in the same situation. She’s overcome so much that’s been thrown her way and I have nothing but complete admiration for her because of it. She’s the ultimate example for me of how to make lemonade when life keeps handing you boxes of lemons. Only, Shauna doesn’t just make lemonade. She bottles it, she sells it, she gets rid of it and she comes out better for it on the other side.
- Our quiet drinks. A few years ago on St Patrick’s Day, Shauna and I decided that we’d make it our thing to go for quiet mid-day drinks instead of coffee and ever since I’ve always had so much time for it. Only ever with Shauna though. Since then, we’ve carried this into the evenings now too – we obviously know that midday drinking isn’t the best of habits to get into…
- Following through with stupid ideas. Over the years, I’ve had some crazy ideas, and Shauna has always been there to ensure we follow them through. I’ve gone to Ards with Shauna in awful “summer” weather and half froze to death when we decided that swimming would be a good idea. One of our friends, Matthew, very nearly got pneumonia. Fast forward years later and we’re still jumping into ice cold water at the drop of a hat. I don’t think I’d do it without Shauna being present now.. it’s become our thing. It’s stupid, it’s crazy and I love it.
- The Teacup Chronicles: The whole chronicle idea stemmed from a conversation between Shauna and I. I’m so glad we did it now as I know the photos will always be something that I can look back on with the fondest of memories at how ridiculous some of our projects have been. The Chronicles are an ongoing project too – there’s no way I’m letting them finish up yet! We’ve the rest of our twenties to get them done. 🙂