Friends: The Family You Choose


This was first posted on my VSCO journal but I thought it wouldn’t do any harm to post it on here too. I’ve been thinking. About the people I’ve met, the people I’ve loved and the people I’ve lost.

I’ve met a lot of people in my life. I’ve made more friends than the average person, and I’m the person I am because of the people I’ve met. Every encounter has shaped who I’ve come to be today. I realise how lucky I am. I’m surrounded by people who not only love and respect me, but believe in me too. I don’t think I would be doing what I’m doing without their support.

They say in life you should be able to count your true friends on one hand. I never thought this to be true, because I had so many- But now more than ever it’s clear to me that all you really need is a small circle of people you trust; Family. After that, nothing else matters.

For those that follow me online, you may have come across images including one or all of 3 women. Sade, Hannah, and Christina. Before I met them, although I had a lot of friends, I never shared the type of friendship with anyone that I do with them. We can laugh, cry, argue, and most importantly, talk about anything. And there’s so much value in that.

I’ve learnt over the years that regardless of how you feel about a person, if there isn’t a mutual respect, eventually one person ends up hurting the other. I’ve lost friends over the years for this reason. In one way or another, someone doesn’t hold up their end of the friendship, and let’s the other down. This isn’t something I take lightly, because when I care about someone, I’m in it for the long run, and I’ve been hurt many a time by those who take advantage of that.

In the last couple of years, through meeting these women and growing close to them, I’ve learnt a lot about what it means to be a friend and to have one. I’ve learnt what it is to trust completely, and I’m so grateful to my friends for that lesson.

I’ve been wanting to say a few words about my friends for a long time. I really believe that everyone needs at least one of these characters in your life, because these are the kind of people that make you a better person. I guess I just wanted to share what it is about each of them that makes them family. These are my sisters, in no particular order:


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Much like her namesake, Sade is the epitome of what beauty is. Inside and out, she radiates this energy that tells you that she is both sure of herself and confident in her abilities, and yet extremely humble and kind. Having learnt she grew up in Dominica and Scotland when we first met, Sade’s story intrigued me. She has this pure innocence about her that is refreshing, one that shouldn’t be mistaken for naivety.

As I got to know her, I learnt many lessons about adulthood, just by watching her. Completely self sufficient and independent, she moved to London and began working. A lot of people rely on her and it inspires me daily because I too take a lot of responsibility on.

Sometimes I wish I was more like Sade, and I think that’s a key quality in a friend. To be aspirational. Sade makes me want to better myself, and for that I am so grateful to have her in my life.


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Christina is one of the most uplifting people I have ever met. She is incredibly kind hearted and in touch with her emotions, and her clear passion for photography and determination to better herself are a huge inspiration to me.

When you’re feeling down, just being around her is enough to lift your mood. I see Christina as a beacon of positive, playful energy. Her aura is light, she is personable and intriguing if not downright mysterious at times. There is so much going on inside Christina’s head sometimes I wonder how she is able to juggle so many ideas at once.

One thing I hugely admire is the fact she is forever pushing herself to do better. I’ve never connected with a person so closely that is so aware of their own personal creative path. Her perspective has definitely taught me something about measuring ones’ success, and how imperative it is to never stop striving for better.


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Hannah is my light. The one person I know truly understands me. Our thought processes are so similar that at times it’s scary. She’s kind, protective over her friends and loves them all dearly. I don’t think it would be possible for Hannah to not be genuine. She is honest and trustworthy, silly and hilarious. A hugely talented selector, creative & thinker- sometimes I feel like Hannah doesn’t even know her full potential yet. It’s a blessing to be in with her on the journey.

I feel like we’re family. My relationship with Hannah has taught me something I never thought I would learn, what it’s like to have a sister. There is a certain bond between females that can’t be replicated with the opposite sex. A mutual understanding of one another, an unspoken vow to always protect and support one another- these are things I’ve come to value so much in our relationship, because I’ve learnt over the years how difficult it is to come by.

I guess here the lesson is that there’s always something to be gained by appreciating your friends. If you’re lucky enough to find people who support and love you, it’s important to hold on to them and learn from the relationship you share. Show your friends some love today, and learn something about yourself in the process.

Peace and love & alllll that stuff. Neela x

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