Yesterday was my twentieth birthday and I had the most wonderful day with both my family and my friends. I'm feeling incredibly grateful to have people that are so amazing in my life right now and so this week's prompt could not be more fitting.
As I've probably said a million times before, there's nothing more important to me than my friends and family and, since you're supposedly a product of the five people you spend the most time with, I think there's no benefit at all in wasting time on people who make you feel crap, especially because it will likely impact the person you'll become.
Because I believe in that wholeheartedly, most of the people I'm close to have brightened my day on too many occasions to count and so writing this list was both an easy and lovely thing to do, reminding me how lucky I am to have them all in my life!
- Mum & Buni - I'm so incredibly close with my Mum and Grandma and when I'm at home they never fail to teach me to be the best I can be one minute and make me laugh non-stop the next. I honestly don't know what I'd do without them.
- My sisters - Having sisters who are significantly older than me means that we never had the bickering stage and instead they're always there for me with their stellar advice and never judging natures. All three of them are great and I love them very much.
- My nieces and nephews - Who better to brighten your day? My nieces and nephews have such a zest for life and I feel so lucky to be their aunty. One example of how wonderful they are is from this Christmas just gone - my nephew, Alfie, who's nearly nine, ran to the shop down the road from my sister's to spend his own pocket money buying me a box of chocolates to take home when I was leaving, having stayed there over Christmas, completely of his own accord - it was just the sweetest.
- The Barcelona girls - These nine girls feel god-sent to me. They've seen me at my best and definitely at my worst over the past few years and, having been at uni for a year and a half now, I know how rare it is to have such a solid and amazing group of friends back home so feel very special to have them in my life. Our Whatsapp group chat gives me life and has kept me going no matter what's happening in my life at any given moment.
- Ellie - I don't know what I'd do without Ellie. She has just made Exeter for me. It's funny because we're so similar in some ways and in others so different but getting to live with someone who's your best friend and who you know you can go to with anything - be it to chat about however I'm feeling, wanting to spontaneously bake banana bread or watch Taylor Swift's tour DVDs - is just a privilege and she definitely brightens my day.
- Tom, Nathan and Gus - As much as these three irritate me sometimes and love nothing more than to wind me up, knowing and living with them is like having the brothers I never had. They often make me laugh until I'm literally crying, always put up with me being a mess and look out for me no matter what so it's safe to say they 99% of the time make me a happier person.
- Sarah - Sarah is a recent friend who I met in a history seminar last term but she's quickly become one of my closest. I feel like I can talk to her about anything and she's someone who is just inherently good-natured and kind and our evenings spent at each other's houses over the past few weeks where we've laughed, baked and danced around her kitchen like crazy people have honestly been some of the best moments of this year of uni so far.
- Mackinlay - From a recently-made friend to one I've known since I was thirteen, Mackinlay is and will always be one of my closest friends. We've known each other for so long and I know her family so well that I feel like we're essentially family and I've never met someone as strong, driven or caring as her. We don't talk anywhere near as much as we used to because of distance and all the many things going on in our lives but when we do it's like nothing's ever changed and we're just two thirteen-year-olds again with our awful sense of humours.
Although there are many more I could have listed here these are the people brightening my days the most at the moment. I'd really encourage you to write your own list like this if you're ever feeling down or just need reminding of the great people you have in your life - it made me feel hugely happy writing it!