Lesson Three

Today is a sad and special day for me…

I moved to the UK about two and a half years ago now.
As anyone who’s moved cities, let alone countries and continents knows, there are many things to adjust to when you do start a-fresh. One of the biggest things, which in your naive excitement you don’t think too much about, is how you’ll cope without the friends you know so well (the bestest friend I’ll ever have – I’m looking at YOU!) and how on earth you will make new friends.

This is something that has affected me in waves.
I arrived into the UK and into the arms of some very good friends who looked after me so well that the move felt seamless and easy.
I added a couple of close friends here and there.
Then, as happens (particularly in the UK it seems), people started to leave town.
So I was back at square one.
Where do I meet new friends?
How do I make new friends?
And again, I’d add some friends to my collection, only for them to go travelling or move cities or return to their homeland.

About six months ago, I was lucky enough to hit it off with three other ladies of international mystery.
These girls are now known as my Coyotes.
As my Uglies.
(yes, this is because of us having a girls’ night watching “Coyote Ugly” and appreciating Adam Garcia’s face/body/self and John Goodman’s comedy and Tyra and the baaaaad script and Leann Rimes and… you all know. You’ve seen it.)
As my Punk Ladies.
(yes, this is a piece of #comedygenius in homage to both the Pink Ladies of “Grease” – and the Tash-favourite “Grease 2” – and one of the Coyotes’ Kiwi accent.)
As my Punkies.
As my Internationals.
As my Babysitter’s Club.
And the list goes on…

These wonderful women have suddenly started appearing ALL OVER my social media accounts, to the extent that numerous friends and relatives have asked who they are…

They are my sisters.
My UK sisters.
My family.
We are two Aussies, a Kiwi and an American (who is married to a Norweigan and who is therefore known as my Viking).
We all come from different places.
Have had different upbringings.
Hold different beliefs.
Are at different points in our lives.
And still, we ARE family.

Which is why today is sad.
Today is the day that our Viking leaves the fold.
She is flying in the air and moving back to the American lands.
Which yes, you are correct, the Vikings DID discover and settle for a brief period of time (although Canada, not America, but still), so yes, it IS fitting that they should live there, I guessssss…
Leaving three of us behind.


Which leads me to this week’s lesson…

This is something that I have learnt, rather than a lesson I’m aiming to teach others.
A lesson in friendship.

Two of the Coyotes – The Viking and the Kiwi – got themselves l-inked on the weekend.
Linked together by ink.
Each got a simple, clean half circle shape on an arm, such that they complete each other’s circles.
We had discussed it in our foursome.
We had discussed each of us getting a quarter.
Unfortunately I’m a member of the “I shall never be inked” brigade. Partly due to religion, partly due to a fear of pain, partly due to my OCD issues about matching things.
So it didn’t happen.
And the two of them got half a circle each.
My fellow Aussie, from Bega (cheese capital of Oz – look it up!) and I loved these!
And, after seeing the effect in person the other night, Bega-Steph offered a suggestion:
“I could get a complete circle on my arm with six points marked. It’d be the Coyote symbol and I could wear your tattoo for you.”
Cue Tash’s tears.

What brings people together to make friendships?
Any number of things.
What breaks friendships apart?
Any number of things.
What holds friendships together? What brings them closer? What makes them stronger?
Any number of things.
But knowing that there are people who understand you, respect you and love you no matter what – that is an immeasurable feeling.
I am blessed to be a member of this gang.
Near or far, we’re friends for life.
Inked, L-inked, Henna-d or not.

And now, despite one Coyote going far away, and despite the fact I still live on the opposite side of the world to my family, my oldest friends, my original sister-from-another-mister, it feels less lonely.
Because I know who knows me.
And who loves me.




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