Saturday, August 7, 2010

Special.

bar italia w an extra finger.

I have tried, in the last three weeks, writing and rewriting my thoughts, summing it all up eloquently and giving words to this experience.

I have a nice little collection of drafts, of things I started to say, tried to say, didn't know how to say.

How do I talk of all the special and the wonderful and the assurance that this, this moving, was meant to be?

or of constantly adjusting to the culture shock can sometimes be so demoralizing. of the trials and the challenges, of all being sometimes so scared, so alone, so terrified of what's to come and having fleeting moments of insecurity bite me so hardly in the ass?

or how I miss and miss and miss somemore. How a part of my heart is so sad and longs so much and how long-distance sucks balls.

But yet, I also want to tell you about the beautiful. I want to document the beautiful. The amazing amazing little things that have happened, that has made my heart smile so big and my gratitude for all that is happening immense.

Of how when we were taking a break, out of breath, encouraging one another on our spectacular nature hike, how a little teenage boy, stopped, and asked so kindly, so genuinely, so honestly, if he could share his 100plus with us. A simple cup of offering, so thoughtful, instead of making fun, instead of pointing and laughing and nudging his friends and whispering like teenagers do, he asked if he could share his drink with us. And that, that meant the world to me. I wanted to ask him for his mother's number, to ring her up and say, what a fabulous and spectacular job you've done with your boy. What a gift to be reminded of what it means to compassionate, to share, to be kind.

And when we finally reached the top of the hill, seventeen hundred breaks and six buckets of sweat later, it felt so incredibly good to know we did it. We did it! And as we crossed a rope suspension bridge 1000ft(?) above the sea level, it was hard not to notice just how beautiful the moment was.

If you know me, you'll know that I am definitely not a let's-go-be-one-with-nature-and-run-in-the-woods-kind-of-girl. It's hot, it's humid, there are furry creatures and mosquitos and what the hell is this fresh air bit? Give me an elliptical, a tv, some headphones, a trainer and a clean, organized, no surprises methodical place and I'm good.

So this bit, this part where I actually enjoyed the fresh air, the slight breeze, the bits of thunder rumbling in the background and the splash of the waterfall as I look away into the city and down beneath me into miles of rainforest, I was in awe. I was in awe of the God that had orchestrated all this beauty, and I was in awe of the God that was orchestrating all the moments in my life.

I was with friends, an impromptu agreement to walk the canopy together after a night full of reconnecting. I've been trying to think of the words to describe what the night was like...I had worried it would be awkward, I had worried I would be exhausted fielding seventeen hundred different questions and that we would have changed, that I would have changed too much and that I would feel just so different. I should have known better, I should have known better than to let my insecurities mess with my mind, I should have known better and given my friends and myself so much more credit than I did. A 15 year friendship doesn't just happen because it's convenient, a 15 year friendship happens because you love each other just as is. Because my friends? My friends just loved and the love fest was evident in our laughs and smiles.

I am so so grateful for these relationships. I am so so grateful these relationships have survived and more than once last night, the thought crossed my mind on how meant to be this moment was. How right it felt to move home. How freaking blessed I am.

We have watched each other grow up, mature, fight through the awkward stages of puberty and adolescence. We have rebelled together, stood up for each other and bickered with one another, pushed and pulled throughout the years. We have learned to overcome challenges together and apart, we have learned when to guide and when to support, when to push and when to just be there. We have seen our way through death, through divorce, through job interviews and separately moving to different continents and learning to find ourselves, our purpose.

Our friendship may have it's bumps and bruises, our friendship may not be perfect, but our friendship is so incredibly special.

My first year in college away from everything that I knew and stuck in the booming metropolis of Pensacola, Fl...I longed for a familiar face. I longed to run into someone at Target that I went to primary school with, that just knew me more than the "international student", that knew me just for me. And slowly, as I adjusted and learned to call America my home, I made new friends that are now old friends but a part of me has always longed for these friends. These friends that know me, that have watched me grow up, that I can talk to even if it's been months since we last spoke. These friends that I can raise an eyebrow across the table and laugh uncontrollably in our secret joke, these friends that have so much history in the stories that I tell, that I can refer to a moment that needs no further elaboration. These friends, and how we've travelled and lived in all parts of the world and yet somehow, miraculously found our way home to live in Malaysia or are on our way here. We represent America, Australia, London, Switzerland, Scotland, Europe and it is just so crazy how we have made it back here in very unconventional and unplanned ways, ways that sometimes hurt and were sometimes expected and unexpected but in retrospect, were so right.

Our circle has expanded and is constantly expanding and contracting, revolving. We have included significant others and friends from uni and friends of friends and the faces have changed. We make new friends in our "other lives" and every once in a while, a neat opportunity happens for our paths to cross and it is really neat to see the "other side". Our priorities may have changed and our personalities may have matured, our accents a strange eclectic mix but the core of who we are remains the same. And for that, I am so, so grateful.

These are friends I will hopefully grow old with.

How special is it to be able to say that?



"The most beautiful discovery that true friends can make is that they can grow separately without growing apart."

-Unknown