I made a promise to myself while recovering from my injuries to always put family and friends needs before anything else. In the ensuing years I have managed to keep this promise. What I could not foresee was how this vow would be tested when I was torn between both family and a friend, at the same time, in the past two months.
Now, as a proper grown up - whatever that means - I can see that the flurry of youth brings with it deep uncertainty and glorious freedom in equal measure. Good friends are like rocks throughout this process and we cling to them for comfort and security, whilst benefitting from all the fun of new-found adulthood in the safety of warm and familiar company.
Yes there was amazing music, yes there were unbelievable djs, yes the food was incredible. But for me, what made my first festival so brilliant, were these moments of 'festival love'. The sense of community that seemed to flow through and unite everyone there. We were all having the same experience.
From festivals to social media, we're spending more time with our friends. A growing number of us enjoy a close group of mates that we consider to be a surrogate family: a friendship-family or 'Framily'. In some cases, this is taking over from where the traditional family unit may have left off: either in distance, as people move away from home, or emotionally.
You'd think a book would be the least dangerous thing you could send to your friend who's just begun their summer holiday. Nothing could be much safer, it might seem, than relaxing on a deckchair, in a peaceful garden or hotel poolside terrace, with a book and a cool drink. But this is Northern Ireland, and when we send parcels, we have to risk assess.
For decades I didn't feel like I belonged anywhere. As far back as I can remember, it was difficult to "fit in". My mother was always saying "Why can't you be more like this person or that person?" I wondered that, too. I tried as hard as I could but somehow, it just didn't quite work. I didn't think like other people. And I was often misunderstood.