Astrology is the science of how the movements of the stars and planets determine our personalities, and our paths through life. Some say this is nonsense, and we forge our own way. But sometimes we make our plans and the universe has other ideas, so I think there’s some truth in it.
I’m a typical Taurus; loyal to the core. But my path in friendships hasn’t always been the easiest. I grew up shy, and it’s a sad truism that once people perceive you as shy, they treat you differently. Couple that with a kind and giving nature that acts like a magnet for complete psychopaths, and, well, you get the picture.
At 24, after yet another friendship breakdown and beginning a new job after I got fired from my old one, I moved to London for a fresh start. I knew a couple of people there, so the plan was to infiltrate their groups of friends. However, upon arrival, one moved to New York, and the other blew off all my invitations to meet up.
But the Universe responded to my needs, and Bumble BFF was born. The popular dating app released a new friendship mode where people can seek friends of the same gender. From being Billy No-Mates alone in a new city, I suddenly had dozens of potential besties at my fingertips.
I attended a couple of meetups, but contact fizzled out afterwards. I started organising my own, but I quickly learned to stick to group meetings, as about 50% of the people I invited would go on to flake. I met a lot of cool people, but I found often that most would go on to ghost me afterwards.
Zeyneb came to one of the first gatherings I organised. A meal at Dishoom Kings Cross on a Tuesday evening. With the classic Aquarian shy demeanour, we didn’t click instantly- although that may have been due to the fact that I’d had a nose job a couple of weeks ago and thought it may be collapsing, so wasn’t fully present in the moment. But on the third time we met, we got the Picadilly line tube back together and started talking about relationships. In that moment, my intuition told me I had met a fellow traveller.
6 months on, another new job, and a new flat. This one was in Kings Cross, so she would come to my place and we would chill and drink wine before hitting to local bars. Around that time, I started thinking of her as one of my best friends.
Another year on, another new job, and I’d given up on the London life and moved back home until I was in a position to buy. There had been a bit of a “lull” in the friendship, as Zeyneb had started a new job and the clashing hours meant we hadn’t seen much of each other. The last 3 times I’d gone on holiday with friends, the friendship didn’t survive the experience, so I’d resigned myself to a lifetime of solo travel. But when Zeyneb suggested we go to Prague together, I took a chance, which bloomed into an amazing experience.
When her family went on holiday, I stayed round her house for two weeks. When another friend cancelled on me last-minute we went to the cinema together and watched Mamma Mia 2. When autumn came around, we went to New York together, and watched Mean Girls in the rooftop cinema, then walked around Times Square at night. One day, we got lost in Central Park and had to cycle through the traffic on the main road to get back to the bike hire stand on time.
Sometimes, I wish I had never bothered living and working in London. When I look at my younger brother’s flat and car, I wish I had done the same thing and just found a local job after university. But I believe that everything happens for a reason, and perhaps the reason was meeting Zeyneb. Without her, I wouldn’t have learned to reframe my thinking in a positive way in line with the law of attraction. Without her, I wouldn’t have got back into mystical things, which is shaping my path moving forward. Without her, I wouldn’t have a best friend. So as she hits the Quarter of a Century milestone, I give thanks to the universe for bringing me such a great friend, and look forward to what else is in store.