Today one of my very best friends, the girl who I have lived under the same roof with for the last few months, the one who has been my #1 road dog for the last 10 years, the person I feel most comfortable sharing anything and everything with, is moving away to Japan. This makes me incredibly sad. It is sad for her sake because she will be in a foreign land where she doesn’t know the language and away from her friends and family for two whole years, but also sad for myself for my own somewhat selfish reasons. I want her here, where she can be just a short drive away and an integral part of my life on a daily basis. I want to be able to get her opinion on what shoes go best with my outfit before I go out on a date. I want us to be able to go shopping and convince each other how that jacket is an essential piece of our wardrobe even after we promised not to buy anything else. I want her to be able to know what I’m thinking before I even say it. I want that friend who never tires of taking pictures of ourselves. I want to be able to see her face when we share gossip because there is nobody on earth who will give you more of a reaction when you are looking for it.
Nikkie has been my friend before she even knew it. Ten years ago when I went on my recruiting visit to the University of Arizona, a school I didn’t even think I had any interest in going to, I was struck by how at home I felt and how I seemed to fit in. And part of that was because of her. Nikkie was one of my hosts and I immediately was drawn to her. I could see myself at that school, as part of that team, and as her friend. I’m sure this is true for all people that meet her because she has this undeniable quality about her that makes you want to be around her, that draws you in and makes you love her. So for the past ten years I have loved her. Through all the escapades in college, through finding ourselves as young women, through transitioning into the next phases of our lives…through everything. If I tried to relive all the memories I have created with her, I could fill volumes.
But perhaps the most telling part of our friendship is how close we are now. Now that she is a wife and mother of two with dinner to prepare, diapers to change, and a house to take care of, and I am…me. Our lives, ones that had at one point been so similar, took two different paths and sometimes it’s not easy maintaining friendships when the roads you are on no longer mirror each other. But ours has maintained and flourished. And I also grew to love her family. Her husband isn’t just my friend’s husband, he is my friend. And her kids? I honestly didn’t think I had it in me. Usually I tolerate kids from a distance but I’ve grown to adore hers. I am legitimately sad that they won’t be around to show me things, to wear my heels, and to steal my phone.
I wrote this post because I am not good at goodbyes in person. Last night when I should have told her how grateful I am and how much I’m going to miss her and how much her friendship means to me, I could only manage to mumble a few incoherent words before the lump in my throat prevented me from saying anything else. And perhaps that sounds a little drastic because I know she will be back in a few years (hopefully to the west coast), but it’s hard not to feel like I’m losing a little piece of myself. So even though you are probably 30,000 feet in the air right now, trying to avoid the stares of people who have no idea what it is like to travel with two small children, I wanted to express how much you mean to me. You make me want to be a better friend and you’ve shown me how to one day be an excellent wife and mother. Thank you for being you, for opening up your heart and your home, and for always leading by example. Japan will be great for you because I know you always make the best out of any situation. They are lucky to have you.
P.S. Nikkie just started her own blog to document her time spent in Japan and what's going on with her family, so if you are one of my friends who knows her, or you can just tell how fabulous she is by how I spoke of her, check it out HERE. Leave her a comment or two...that kind of stuff makes her happy. :)