We bonded in the office of an I-just-needed-a-temp-job data-inputting department. I only worked there for six weeks, but without my lovely Ellen, I'm certain it would have been less. At the time I was also singing a few nights a week and watching the time go by during a gap year after finishing school. Needless to say, my heart wasn’t exactly fully in the temp job. We often got ordered to 'do the tea rounds,' where we'd forget people's names and often make their drinks completely wrong. We alternated on trips to the coffee machine, and got told off numerous times for giggling too loudly at our desks. Thankfully, our boss was incredibly kind and the work really wasn’t so bad. After my six weeks I confirmed to myself that office work just wasn’t for me and went off to do a bit more singing and dabble in a few retail jobs. Ellen worked her way up the company, and now thirteen years later she is a manager and does a quite a bit more than data inputting!
We might have always led different lives, and the paths we have taken so far couldn’t be more different but something - call it fate - brought us to each other. We both have curly hair and often get mistaken for sisters, which makes us laugh but then maybe those people see something that we don't.
We've seen each other in good times, bad times, dark times and really happy times, and I'm sure we will be there for each other through many more. Time vanishes away and we don't see each other nearly often enough. Ellen is a social butterfly and rarely gets an evening where she's not socializing, volunteering or visiting. I get up to a little less, but with a home-educated child paired with anti-social working hours, our schedules are hard to co-ordinate.
The lesson here isn’t that we have to run ourselves ragged making a weekly meeting. Yes, keeping in touch with the people you love should be at the forefront of your communications, but accepting that you've grown, changed and taken different paths in life is important too. The lesson here is that sisterhood - the kind where you immediately know you've found your sisterly soul mate – is forever.
No matter how long it takes us to arrange a get-together, we always manage it eventually and it's like we saw each other yesterday. And very often, we sit on the sofa armed with tea and chocolate and we talk, debate, laugh, and laugh some more.
Sarah Wilkinson is a writer, musician, and arts practitioner from England. She is a lover of all animals, a parent and passionate promoter of self-directed education. She loves music, powerful books, and the beings around her who are, or have become, her family. You can find her at https://sarahmichellewilkinson.contently.com/ or https://sarahmwilkinson.wordpress.com/