Top Ten Countdown: Number One
Wow, what a year this has been. So many adventures have been taken + so many memories have been made. Out of the entire year, my favorite thing to come from this year abroad is: Terrell.
By that I mean this year has done some amazing things for us. It has strengthened our relationship, made us depend on each other and grow together in a way I never saw coming. We knew taking this adventure together would make or break us, and I can honestly say… it did more than make us.
Living abroad can be a stressful thing to do. It challenges you personally on a level that makes you grow and think deeper. I mean think about living in a place that you cannot truly communicate with anyone without using an app. A place that you have to use pictures to order food because you cannot read any descriptions. A place that people stare at you and can unintentionally make you feel like an outsider. Yes, this year has challenged me, it has pushed me… but through it all, I had Terrell. I had my best friend standing beside me when I needed help or felt homesick. I depended on him and he depended on me. And that is something I am not afraid to say. I know people believe that you should not depend on anyone else and that it makes you weaker, but I feel the total opposite. Since the moment we truly had to depend on each other, we grew stronger, I grew stronger and we fell more in love with each other. And anyone who thinks that makes you weaker is weak in my eyes.
With everything that challenged us this year, we also had so many memories that we made together. This year we have been able to visit seven different countries together, exploring and seeing the world hand in hand. The memories we have made will always hold a special place in my heart. I can still cry from laughter from the time when we crashed the scooter in the Philippines, got so lost in Hong Kong and ended up walking up 60 flights of stairs or even the time in Wuxi when Terrell joined in with the older women dancing on the streets. These memories, and so many more, I will never forget. Not just because of the amazing experiences that we have been able to have, but because he was standing beside me with the biggest smile on his face (even when I messed up and get us lost… so many times).
Terrell is a very special man and anyone that knows him or has met him this year will probably agree that he is the best. I have seen him grow so much this year as a person and professionally. Not only was he able to grow the basketball company he is working for, but he has seriously made an impact on these children’s lives. Last night as I sat through one of his last classes, I could see the kids’ reaction to saying goodbye to him. Some of them gave him gifts, others just hugs but I could see from each of them that they would truly miss his corny jokes and how he had a way with coaching. It wasn’t just about basketball to these kids it was way more.
I am beyond proud to be able to call Terrell my best friend. Even with our uncertain future just around the corner I still feel a sense of calm knowing that whatever path life takes us, I will have him beside me.
So, here is to us! May we enjoy these next 42 days of backpacking through Thailand and Indonesia, may we continue to grow together next year and the many years to come, and may we continue to laugh our way through life + adventures.
I love you, Terrell! Cheers to us!