Wednesday, October 26, 2011


With the appearance of the sun's rays, Carolina's Class of 2011 turned their tassels and officially went from being undergraduate students to alumni. Now I've become an alumnus twice over and something about moving the bit of stringy fabric from the left to the right gives me this feeling of officiality. Yes. Now that the tassel is on the right, I'm actually graduated.

Thinking back to that day, I was in a rush. I didn't spend long dwelling on the fact that I was a graduate, because I went straight from the stadium and some picture taking to the emptying of my apartment. Quite the process. It's amazing how many things one accumulates over a year of living in an apartment. 

As I was packing and deciding what was worth keeping and what wasn't, I was extremely thankful for my roommate who was helping me move stuff around and go on trash runs. I was extremely thankful for her presence especially when the RA came through checking things and kept opening up doors and cabinets and finding things that were accidentally left. Though she had already finished moving out, she was willing to give me her time. What a blessing.

Having friends in your immediate vicinity for only a short period of time is common if you are a TCK (you can learn more about TCKs here). If you grew up in a transient environment, learning handle frequent moves and making friends quickly becomes a survival technique. Though my roots are confusing, I have to admit that I love having friends from all different places. The down-side is that they're everywhere, and getting together with them often involves a lengthy plane ride. It also means I have to be on top of my game in keeping touch long distance. Nonetheless, they are near and dear to me.

Being in a new place yet again means making new friends. Though I've done this before, now it involves so much initiative on my part. Before, friends were there for the making. Classes. Activities. Sports. Now, I have to go find them, and it takes so much longer.

Whether by proxy or through my own initative, I know that God will put people in my life. He has not promised a life of solitude but one where He is with me. I know that community will be provided.

As I was thinking about so many of my friends in different places, this photo I took a while back came to mind. In Shanghai, many of the trees lining the sidewalks are wrapped in these twinkle lights. Not just in the winter, but all through the year. It's actually very beautiful and enchanting. Any way, these lights reminded me of my friends. Some are closer than others, shining their light directly, but some are further away. Despite their distance, however, their light is no less bright. Perhaps a little out of focus, but just as strong. I truly value my friendships. No matter the time or distance, they are there. In the darkness, their light is all the more visible.

So, my friends, thank you. For being such an illuminating force in my life. For being God's strength and love shown to me through you. Maybe you don't even realize it, but it's true.

All this slightly sappy reflecting and talking about twinkle lights makes me want to put some up. I think I will. At the very least, it's a good reminder of how blessed I am with so many wonderful friends. Since all the Christmas decorations are already out in stores, I guess it won't be too hard to find some.

How do you go about making friends?

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