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  • Writer's pictureSonya Leeding

Me and my band of misfits

Since Damian died, I have had a missing piece. That’s probably not a revelation to anyone. Of course, I would feel like a piece of me was missing after losing the love of my life. But since then, I have had a group of people in my life who have become a part of me, me and my band of misfits, my support network. Each and every one of them fulfill a little part in my life. Each and every one of them offers something different. Each and every one of them makes losing my missing piece a little more bearable.

It’s interesting to watch. I often sit back at gatherings I host and take the time to look around and see the people who have shown up. We’ve celebrated our losses, our loves, our victories, our hope and our dreams. Over the past 12 years most of my friends now all know of each other, and some have developed friendships between themselves. They are friends who are from all different circles and when they come together, they come together with and for me. I am the glue that bonds them, whether they like it or not. The beauty of this is that with the time past everyone has come to know each other and I guess we can thank Damo for having a hand in that. I suspect very much that my circle would have been different had he not died. Especially after I lost Damo. They all came. The few friends from school, friends from when I worked at Woolies, friends from uni, friends from work, friends from the gym, friends who are school mums and a few friends who I inherited from Damo, as his successor. All these friends help me keep his memory alive and offer a small part of him that I would otherwise not have access to, now that he is gone. Without Damian’s loss none of this would have been possible.

Me and my band of misfits
Me and my band of misfits

Damo used to say to me that I was collector of odd things, the odd things being my friends. He said this because I collected friends through each stage of life. My friendship circle is always evolving, it’s something I have always done. I did not have that one group of friends when I was in High School who have remained friends throughout my life.

A misfit is defined as a person whose behaviour or attitude sets them apart from others in an uncomfortable conspicuous way. Now although this definition may sound negative, I can honestly say that my group of friends don’t necessarily fit together, but when I am with them, they do. They each have their own uniqueness about them and that is why they are part of my tribe. The majority of them are women, of differing ages and varied backgrounds, who I have bonded with over time. They really are an eclectic group of friends. They’re all mismatched but when we are together, we are all in sync.

Me and my band of misfits

The beauty of adult friendships is this, we are no longer in the confines of the school yard, and we can maintain these friendships on our own terms. I can tell you now that I do not see any of these people on a regular basis, but I know that when we get together it’s as if we have been together the whole time despite all our differences. I create space in my life for each of these important people. They each add their own sparkle to different parts of life. By the time we navigate children, partners, work and any number of the other commitments we each have in our lives, there isn’t always much time, but we all try and make it quality time we spend together, even if that means planning well in advance so that I can put my roster requests in just to catch up with them.

There are friends who I socialise with together, there friends who I prefer to see on their own so I can give them my full and undivided attention. But either way I get to see them and after each time I do see each of them I feel my cup overflowing. Lucky for me these friends also know and respect that I need my down time. We have no need to live in each other’s pockets, but when the time comes, and if required, they will be there.

In each of the people I have found for my posse I see a unique quality that I need in my life. Some offer sound advice, some are completely opposite to me. Others are similar and have similar interests or careers. For whatever reason they are present in my life they each add to filling my cup.

Me and my band of misfits

Although I often say that I really do not need anymore friends, I have a habit of meeting new people and adding them to my tribe. My little band of misfits keeps growing and evolving, much like our lives. I guess natural attrition occurs too, some friends hang on and others drop off and come back. There is no expectation for them to stay, but sometimes it’s just how life is. Some are there for a reason, some for a season and some for a lifetime. My tribe is constant and flowing and that’s just how we roll.

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