Time and distance has got nothing on them.
Time I’ve known her: 10 years, 1 month (January 2001)
Current distance: approx. 2,356 miles
Out of the five mentioned here, I’ve known this person the longest. There comes a point where knowing someone for too long becomes a bad thing, and that’s right around the 9 year mark, because there is just no fooling her anymore. she sees right through me, and it’s embarrassing, hilarious, and refreshing at the same time. our friendship consists of sarcasm, deep conversations, and long talks about… well, everything. and i mean everything. we only started getting close my junior year, which was the year I had 6 classes a day with her. that turned out to be an immense blessing, because the friendship I had formed with her has now blossomed into one of the most important ones I have. we don’t talk often, but when we do.. well, we get kicked out of restaurants because we chat for so long. heck, we even go to Starbucks to continue talking, and we get kicked out of there too. and still the conversation continues. i have confided in her so much; i trust her advice, appreciate her critiques, and value her insights. she is actually a real sweetheart and a refreshing joy to be around. she has such a keen eye for art and fashion, and it shows when you talk to her. I love the realness she brings out in me, and dull moments with her are non-existent, as there’s so much humor to be said as we rag on life and comment on its absurdities. she has been the person I notify whenever there’s really good news, and the person I love to call when I need to process something in life, from things like not being independent to dealing with the guilt of eating fast food. truth be told, she knows me well and she is one of the few whom I allow free reign to peer into my life and all the triumphs and struggles contained herein. I am unbelievably grateful that I am friends with an extremely gorgeous soul, and I thank God that we are able to have such a great time touching base whenever we get the chance.
John Paul Fukumae
Time I’ve known him: 8 years, 5 months (September 2002)
Current distance: approx. 2,390 miles
This dude, this guy, this friend.. he’s my mirror. Time and time again, we have gone through eerily similar experiences at roughly the same time. our girl problems were the same. our ways of processing life are the same. our haircuts, at one point in time, were the same. our relationship has gone through ups and downs throughout the years, but through the fighting a love has blossomed and has bonded us for pretty much life. this man has been an inspiration and an encouragement more than he knows, and I am so proud and so much more thankful that this man is in my life. the way he loves and appreciates his friends so unconditionally and authentically is so admirable, and I try to incorporate his example and views on life into my own. I can confide in him, bounce ideas off of him, and, most importantly, be myself. i trust him like no other, and i am so excited to be sharing my future with him. currently the plan is to live in california together, create music and perform shows, and co-author a kick-ass inspirational book derived from content from our xanga, myspace, and tumblrs. come to think of it, these are actually of his ideas, but one can see how motivated and inclusive of a friend he is. he simply loves to create joy and invite people to share in the ride. i cannot think of any other friend who does that, who essentially lays down his time, effort, his life, for the people he cares about. and for me to be considered one of his friends? that is a pure blessing. i have taken him for granted too many times and am determined to be a friend to him to the best of my ability. his love and rebukes have tempered and refined me into the person I am today, and I am indebted to him. he is a bro among bros, and I thank God that I have a friendship with this man.
Time I’ve known her: 2 years, 5 months (September 2008)
Current distance: approx. 2,433 miles
This beautiful, beautiful, beautiful kindred soul is my international bestie, my sister, and my beloved. We met in Switzerland, and bonded immensely as we both went through by far one of the toughest seasons in our lives. I do not know where I would be without her, and our relationship is nothing but positive and loving. She gives spot-on advice, and delivers it in such a graceful, eloquent, and humble way that always brings me face-to-face with the most timely and relevant of epiphanies. She makes me feel loved, unique, wanted, comforted, and remembered, and I am thankful for her everyday that she is my friend. We write to and Skype with each other regularly, and it is her prayers, her inspiring strength, and her gift of simply ‘being there’ that reminds me that there is a God and that He is loving. Despite the fact that I’ve known her the shortest out of the five, she knows me really really well, and while we have only spent two short short months together, the impact she has left continues to be a source of sadness and joy — sadness that I haven’t hugged her in so long, and joy that our paths have crossed path in the first place. she has gone through trials that any other person would crumble under, but the amount of strength she has is unfathomable, and the elegance by which she handles herself through it is a testament to the glory, grace, and sheer love of God. She is a continual blessing that represents the very best of what a friend is and can be, and I am consistently floored when I ponder and appreciate the brevity of our time spent together relative to the strength of our relationship now. And I am so very thankful for this relationship, the depth of which I cannot express adequately enough. I cannot thank God enough for the wonderful orchestration he had set in place over two years ago to create this masterpiece of a friendship.
Time I’ve known him: 7 years, 6 months (August 2003)
Current distance: approx. 2,393 miles
This man of God has been a loving brother to me, and his friendship is something I love and treasure dearly. Though I’ve known him for awhile, we never really did start getting close until the summer before going to college. I don’t even remember how we started hanging out, but I’m glad it happened. from learning the guitar together and playing friday night worship, to eating plain double cheeseburgers with honey mustard, from playing hours of guitar hero to spending hours just talking and ‘folks-ing,’ this mang has been there with me and for me, by my side, as I become a better musician, process life and grow in God. we never run out of things to talk about and I am always content just being around him. we have the same video game and music interests, he gets my humor, and he enables me to be myself, even when it means me saying doing weird and wacky things, and he never loves me any less for it. he has encouraged me to be honest and has been there by my side as I struggle with loneliness here in California. if I ever started a band, he would be my go-to guitarist and I would definitely bring him alone for that ride. He is a joy to be around, a kind and real soul, and one of the greatest friends I could ever ask for.
Time I’ve known her: 6 years (February 2005)
Current distance: approx. 2,390 miles
Together, we have invented all kinds of symbols that make up the entirety of the unspoken language we communicate to each other. Our texts seldom say more than that, and often it is enough. She is my best friend, my favorite person in the world, and, oddly enough, the one I communicate with the least. The times that I am with her, though, are the moments I treasure the most by far, and I reflect on them with a tender heart and a poignant longing. our relationship has been a marvelously unique tapestry, consisting of bursts of closeness and long periods of avoidance, infatuation and hostility (on my part), from severe awkwardness to the eventual blossoming of a blessed and platonic friendship that I would never jeopardize nor trade for anything in the world. and I mean anything. her loving soul and walk with God have been such an inspiration to behold that she was actually the primary catalyst for the relationship with God I have today. she told me that I needed to want God and want him badly enough to pursue Him and fight for it. and it has been advice that has changed my life forever. God loves to use her to provide timely encouragement and support to let me know that I’m not alone, and that I am missed, loved, and remembered. in fact, one of the scriptures she sent me has been my iPhone wallpaper since arriving in California, and also a message of encouragement she sent to me since June 2010 is still on my desktop. i have kept all the notes and trinkets she has given me, and their worth to me is profound. seriously, if she knew how many times she has made my day with a simple text… perhaps the lack of frequent communication is the reason why the times we do catch up, the times when we are together, are so treasured and special; she’s why I am so excited to fly home and so bummed to go back to California. nonetheless, this woman brings out the very best in me, she encourages me to be the best I can be, and I love her for that. I know that I can rely on her and our friendship to overcome anything. She continues to be an inspiration who produces only the best fruits that God would be proud of, and if everyone loved God and loved others the way she does, no doubt this world would be saved and in a better place. She is sheer beauty inside and out, and I am so proud of her and equally as grateful that she is in my life.