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This post has taken me awhile to write. I was afraid it bordered on cheesy and emotional. But I recently decided that there is no way around that this time. It is what it is.

I never really believed in fate. The notion never made sense to me. The whole everything happens for a reason seemed like a bunch of nonsense for heart-broken women who were justifying their loss. Maybe a little pessimistic (as I was in most of my 20s–that difficult era for me of trying to find myself, my purpose and trying not to be frustrated with life while doing it), but the truth.

Over the past couple years or so, after making the big jump into adulthood and (gasp) my 30s, I’ve realized the importance of relationships. Real relationships.

I think part of the importance lies in the fact that meeting friends as you grow older becomes so difficult. You’re no longer in college where 100 people live right outside your dorm room door looking for the exact same thing you are. The adulthood search seems so much more difficult. It is socially acceptable to go out, have too much to drink and bring home a complete stranger, but it is awkward and uncomfortable to start a conversation with someone of the same sex for friendship.

So, about two years ago, when I decided to make a big jump and move overseas, I was a bit nervous about meeting new people. Being completely alone on the other side of the world, although exciting, is also very nerve racking. But when telling people about my move, a college friend of mine informed me that her once roommate from college was living in Wellington and suggested that I contact her. I knew little of this girl, that is to say I knew her name and probably never spoke a (sober) word to her. But I wrote her a Facebook message anyway just asking for a little advice on the country and Wellington. I wasn’t expecting much of the situation and honestly wouldn’t have been surprised (or hurt) if I received no response at all.

That day I received a helpful, detailed response on the run down on New Zealand, which included an offer to stay at her house until I found an apartment of my own. She also said: “I promise I won’t kick you out before then–no really.” I was immediately completely shocked with this. Would you open up your home to a (almost) complete stranger? For a month? No questions asked? I wouldn’t. Nope. Not in a million years.

But, as promised, when I arrived in Wellington after 40 hours of travel she was waiting at the gate for me with a smile and a hug. She drove me to her house, cooked me dinner and let me stay with her until I found an apartment.

We became quick friends. Things didn’t change when I moved out on my own or moved even further away, to the south island. In fact, we probably grew closer as I moved further away. We still saw each other at least once a month, traveling back and forth between locations. We surprisingly shared more interests than I ever thought normal and always had things to do and events planned. We even traveled a little further on our most recent get-away (Bula Fiji!).

A few months ago, my good friend made the difficult decision to move back to the US. The days dwindled down quickly (much too quickly), but at her surprise going-away party we were able to have this chat that will resonate with me. Yes, this conversation occurred after one (or two or three) too many glasses of bubbles. Emotions were a little high and tears were flowing at our last (known) night out together. But the message was clear. In the past we had often discussed our college years and why we hadn’t been friends back then (I never got it–we had so much in common! Think of all those years wasted!). During this night, she said to me: “We weren’t meant to be friends then; we’re meant to be friends now. It is fate.” And for the first time, looking back on everything that has happened over the past two years, how I have changed and grown so much, and how I’ve had her there by my side through all of it, I knew she was right. True friendships are rare. The people that are here for you now–when life and decisions seems to grow harder every day–are the ones that really count. There was never any drama between us. Never any jealously. Just two people who want the absolute best for one another. That is true friendship. That is our friendship.

Life is ever changing. Sometimes it’s a lot harder then you want it to be. This week, one of my closest friends, one of my biggest support systems, moved across an ocean. It is difficult, but I know Fate and our strong friendship are forever on my side.

Amy, I cannot say it enough but thank you. You have a warm heart, kind soul, and deserve the best, always. My experience here would have been completely different without you. So grateful everyday to have met you. Looking forward to many more years of friendship!