Anna Isaac

ANNA ISAAC dedicates this one to all the people which made her columns possible. No, not you.

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What are friends for?

Making you feel loved.

I had a rough break up last term and within ten minutes of ringing I had three incredible friends sat on the end of my bed. Not saying the standard irritating things, just making lots of tea and offering practical advice, like ‘take a shower’ or ‘at least brush your hair’.

They didn’t let me rot, even though I tried pretty damn hard to wallow in my misery.  I was all for putting on Radio Four and preparing myself for the future: a future of insolvency, mediocrity, and learning to be alone. ‘Hello shipping forecast, here’s to the next fifty years! I’m not even going to consider Guardian Soulmates when/if I get to 28. If I want to see a sad wanker I’ll just look in the mirror.’

Soon after getting dumped I had another seizure (mentioned that before) and the misery hit home, so college decided I had to go home, and who knew how long for…  It took a bit of thinking, but I decided to come back, and when I sent an email telling my friends I was going to return I got some pretty lovely replies. Here are some snippets:

‘Fuck. Shakespeare’s. Minor. Poetry. Hurry back, my life is sad and quiet and filled with unlaminated posters without you.  X’

‘…we can’t be doing with not having you.’

‘You’ll get through this rocky patch and as long as you believe things will get better, they will! I love you to the moooon and back!’

‘I really cannot wait for your return and am so so glad that you have had this time to ponder upon things. Get lots of rest until then and remember YOU ARE NUMBER ONE!!’

I was also sent a lovely video from the cast of a show I was producing:


Friends make a place: it is the people, not the status or pretension that make me glad to be here. How often does a visit to the library or Sainsbury’s make you feel lonely? It was easy to think a few months ago that Cambridge wasn’t the place for me, indeed I was told as much.

But then I realised; if my friends, honest as they are, think that I am good enough for this place then maybe I am. I knew I needed to be independent when I came back, to return because I thought I could be happy here, rather than expect my friends to prop me up.

I am so glad I came back, even though when I’m having a bad day there’s much to hate about this town full of people who are more intelligent, talented and attractive than myself.

Cambridge can suck you up into its own particular dark madness, but I wouldn’t be anywhere else, because I wouldn’t have known you my loves.

Thanks for not telling me to fuck off when you see me coming towards you. It makes me feel special.  You could laugh more at my shit jokes though, that would be nice and kind.

This is the kind kind of love,
that holds us when it seems
that there is nothing left to hold.