15 December 2011


Well, my travelling adventures are officially over. I am at home with family and Paul arrived this evening so it is time to simply relax.

I truly enjoyed my time with friends and appreciated how each of them – within two years of each other – is in so many different stages in life.

One friend at 28 is married for the second time and has two children. Another at 28 is more than content living the single-and-not-exactly-looking life.

At 29, one friend is married and in the process of trying to have a baby, while at 30, two of my friends are out living the single and always mingling life.

No matter where I was or how long I was there, I fit into each lifestyle almost as if it were my own. I appreciated each woman’s life for what it was and sometimes considered whether or not I would like to be in her shoes (great movie, by the way). I also began to realize that I was quite content in my own life journey compared to each of my friends'.

All but one of my friends are working, though they are not all content with their jobs at the moment. Seeing so many of my friends where they are in their careers made me slightly envious of their positions since I have not been able to find work in Singapore. Then again, because of my early retirement, I have the opportunity to travel, explore my home and run errands in the middle of a weekday.

I spent a few days with a friend who I had not seen in nearly 15 years. She and I were friends in kindergarten and quickly became the kind of friends who call themselves sisters because they like the same things and spend every day with one another, then fight and hate each other for a week before once again becoming inseparable best friends.

She has led an epic life and has done a great job raising two children in tough times. Now married to a man who truly complements her in every way, I got to experience a little bit of what it means to be a stay-at-home Army wife.

Being an Army wife is similar to being an expat wife in that one never knows exactly how long one will be in the same location. Friends are great to have but it may be difficult to meet some good ones and, once again, it is never certain how long those friends will be with you.

One night, while making dinner for Amanda and her husband as a way to say “Thank you for allowing me to invite myself over, kick your son out of his room and keep you up all hours of the night,” I had the opportunity to help Amanda’s son with a school project. I was prepping the food one minute and turning around to remind Barrett to keep writing his speech the next and I thought, “Hey, I can do this!”

In Massachusetts with another life-long best friend, I enjoyed spending time with her in her perfect world of living single and social in small town New England. She does with her life what she pleases, sees friends when she wants, chats with friends regularly and could really care less if she found a man to fill in the little time she has between her job, her social life and her sleep. And let’s not forget about the vintage Mercedes that she gets to drive around. She is so content with what she is doing and I love it!

My friends in Jersey are living it up. They truly embody the phrase, “Work hard, play hard.” Travelling to Miami, Las Vegas and the Dominican Republic for vacations, partying in clubs and spending time at the Jersey Shore beach house (not the show, the actual Jersey Shore) are just a few of the ways my former roommates are enlivening their 30s.

While I appreciate my friends living the active single life, I am appreciative for the opportunity to have a best friend at home who can put up with me in any mood and any physical state (I know I am not always pretty). Someone to laugh with, make fun of and share the best memories with makes me truly grateful to be 29, married and retired.

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