A letter to my friends

Dear friends,

I’m taking a break from documenting my travels to write you a letter.  Yes, I am posting this on my blog.  It seems fitting since the purpose of this blog, specifically FauxAdulthood, is to document my life including the travels. But when I started this blog, I never really took the time to reflect on what shaped my life to be what it is today and I just started documenting the travels and my own personal mishaps. But, I’ve had time to reflect. A LOT of time to reflect, especially over the last six months that I’ve lived far away from the support system that I had for the last 10 years in Seattle.

Friends, you are more to me than I can truly express in words. I spent the last weekend deep cleaning my apartment which is the first time I’ve done this since moving to LA. I started going through old mail, old cards, souvenirs from events that I’ve been to and trinkets around my home. As I look through these things, I realized that everything I’ve kept in my home and have lugged from apartment to apartment has been a reminder of you. A reminder of our events, a reminder of the time that I’ve spent with you and the impact you’ve had on my life. I found old cards that said simple little words like “I miss you, that is all” to full letters from you. There are photos of you all around my apartment, items that we have purchased together and items that you have given me to remind me of you. Each thing is a reminder of the moments I have spent with you.  When I look at them, I am brought back to those times of laughter, tears, strangeness and love.

I recently realized that I needed additional miles to get to MVP status on Alaska Airlines, so I purchased a ticket to Seattle. I didn’t purchase a ticket to the furthest destination to ensure that I would get it, it just felt like the obvious choice to head back home. Yes, Seattle is my home but now so is LA. Over the last five trips back, wandering around that city has reminded me that I feel most comfortable there but I felt most comfortable walking through the streets with my friends or walking on my way to meet someone for coffee/food/random adventures. But here’s the thing, the day that you all leave Seattle is the day it stops being my home. I’ve come to realize that any time I visit a friend who lives in another city, that place feels comfortable for me.  I used to spend once a month in LA because one of my best friends lived here before I moved down.  It got to a point where it didn’t feel strange to walk through the neighborhoods.  I found favorite food places here and knew where to go for groceries. And it’s the same everywhere I’ve been to visit friends like San Francisco, New York, London, Bangkok and even Vienna. My friends are the definition of home to me.

As I sit in my apartment in LA, I think of you and just how much you mean to me. I am eternally grateful for the love that you have shared with me and the moments that I have had with you.  I can relive the happy times and even the hard times in my head and each memory is filled with the love that I have experienced from you. I am speechless at how lucky I am to have been blessed with people who deal with me and seem to love me unconditionally. We can talk about nothing to everything for hours upon hours and I treasure each and every one of those conversations.

I shared with a new friend recently that solo traveling to me is a very different experience than most people.  I treasure that alone time because back in Seattle, every day of the week was booked with dinners, coffee, adventures with my friends.  The only time I really had alone was when I solo traveled.  I’m not saying that I don’t like being around my friends, I’m just saying that as an introvert/extrovert sometimes I need to be alone to recharge and solo traveling was the best way for me. I could go on these trips and really focus on myself and my surroundings because I knew coming home meant sharing these adventures with my friends.

But here’s the thing, I felt brave enough to solo travel because my friends were the best sounding board for me. I felt brave enough to move to LA because of my friends. I feel like I can take on the world because my friends have been there to support me. And when people ask why I keep buying tickets to Seattle to see them every few weeks, those reasons are just the tip of the iceberg. I would and will drop everything to try and make a trip happen for those big events but my friends would do the same for me.  And realistically, it’s the least that I can do to say THANK YOU.

Thank you for being great, thank you for being amazing, thank you for being there for me and I hope that you know just how much you mean to me.  I know that I may not be able to fully express in words just how much you mean to me. But know this, I love you. I adore you and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without you.  I will do everything in my power to constantly show you the same love and loyalty you have shared with me. I promise that I will always do what I can to ensure that you never doubt how much you mean to me.

To each and every one of you, I love you with all my heart.

Winny

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