As a child, I didn't really have any close friends. School and neighborhood friends, sure, but I think my childhood shyness kept me from having a best friend - the kind you tell all your closest secrets, and are joined at the hip. I had trouble really opening up to anyone, and eventually, they all moved on to other groups in time.
But there's something special about living abroad with another group of people who are sharing the same experience as you. When all your loved ones are thousands of miles away and you have only each other. Since moving to Japan, I've been lucky enough to have made some really close friends.
These four girls in particular were my family away from home, and my sisters when my real one wasn't around. We had dinner parties, late night talks with lots of wine, karaoke sessions and movie nights. Did I mention wine?
|Scarlett, me, and Kelly|
When I found out my mom had cancer last year, it was these girls who took me out for dinner and karaoke to help me take my mind off things. They'd watch Ethan for us when Nathan and I wanted a night out (he's too old for a baby-sitter now). We'd talk about work, and love, and boys, and whatnot.
|Adrienne, Tim, and Kele. All these wonderful people are gone now.|
|Me and Scarlett.|
I've never felt closer with a group of girls ever. But all good things must come to an end, especially in this kind of job. You know eventually someone's gonna leave, but it doesn't make it easier.
Kelly's living in New York City now with her husband. Scarlett's living it up in London. Adrienne's in Portland. They all went this time last year, and it was hard to see them go. But I still had Maggie. Now, Maggie's on her way to America and I'm the last one left.
|Me and Maggie|
And here I am. I didn't think I'd be the last one here, but well, these girls have got lives to live, and there's lots of world to see. I miss them all terribly, but I'm so excited to see what the future has in store for them. With skype and facebook, they don't feel too terribly far away, but what I wouldn't give sit in a room with them, drink some wine, and talk the night away. And if they ever want to come visit Japan again, I've got a couch waiting for them!!