Saturday, February 28, 2015

Good Friends

With my brother and his wife, Angi, my oldest friend
My entire life I've been blessed to have great friends. I'm in touch with friends from every stage and phase of life. My oldest friend I've known since the fourth grade and she is now married to my brother and the mother of a niece and nephew (never could have predicted that one!). I am in contact with friends from elementary school, middle and high school, and from my college years. I have friends from my years in the Army and all the various units I was assigned to, and friends from when I lived in Boise, ID. And of course the host of fantastic friends I've made over these past 16 years I've been living in Colorado.

Elaine, Nancy, me & Katie

There is no true way to appreciate how overwhelmingly supportive my friends have been over these past six months. They watched me map a new, and completely unpredictable, path in life, and at a breakneck speed. When an email reply included, "mind if I catch my breath on that one?," I always reply with, "but of course." 

I know how many intellectual and emotional somersaults I've been doing, and therefore I can appreciate the mental gymnastics that I am forcing others to move through. And yet, I want to thank them.....for hosting Zorig and I for a meal, for listening to me tell the (incredible) love story yet one more time, for texting me in the hours and days after his departure to make sure I was okay. 
With Julie

Yes, I am blessed with damn good friends. 

Which brings me to the reality that I will be moving far away from all of them. Though both a curse and a joy, we will thankfully have technology that allows us to stay in touch. From email (yes, those of us over 35 still use this form of communication fairly regularly) to Facebook to Skype or Facetime. 

With Carl & George, whom I served with in Army NG

But I will miss my wine dates with Elaine, my hikes and trail running with Julia, my talks and 90210 dates with Katherine, my close-the-door-let-me-fill-you-in-moments with Anita, honoring truths with Avery, bonding over 80s movies and music with Katie, dancing to 90s hits with Jen, and ALL the talks over wine or coffee or food with each and every one of the lovely individuals in my life.

In 122 days I depart for a new place, a new home. I will make new friends, MORE friends. I'm already expanding my Facebook circle with Mongolian friends both here in the US (a kind and helpful Mongolian woman living in Denver that is helping me ship my stuff AND offering some very good advice) and in Mongolia (Z's friends and family members). While I don't yet know many of them, they are overwhelmingly kind with messages like:

  • We are waiting for you. Welcome to Mongolia!
  • Congratulations on your engagement. I am excited to see you soon.
  • I wish all the best for you and your family.

With Mallory.
And they comment kindly on all of Zorig and I's photos. I can't ,of course, yet read most of them.....but Z is kind enough to translate and fill me in. They are accepting and inviting, wishing the two of us the best in our love and future life together.  I'm anxious to meet each and every one of them in person come summertime. As I gain the Mongolian language, then my circle of friends will expand. 

Additionally, I will make friends at the school where I'll be working as a school librarian, the American School of Ulaanbaatar. It will be good for me to have an English-speaking circle of friends and acquaintances. I've also joined up with, an online community where expats can connect and share information. Not to mention the numerous Facebook group pages that exist for expats in any given country. 

There is a quote that goes something like this: "Friends are the family we choose." I couldn't agree more and I thank each and every friend in my life. Friends from my past who were there for me, present friends who support me in the now, and the future friends I don't yet know.

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