In 2004 my dad sent me off to Italy with my little brother to learn how to speak Italian and become “cultured”. To be fair, the government actually paid for us (aka young people of the world whose families are from Lazio, Italy) to come to their country to encourage dual citizenship and tourism. I like to joke that we learned a bit more about the pubs, pizza and traveling than we did the Italian language, but what I walked away with from the small town of Cassino far surpasses any second language I could ever learn.
You always hear about how a person is lucky if they can count the friends they have on one hand. I feel extraordinarily lucky to say that I’m able to do that with both hands and probably even my feet. I have some of the best friends a girl could ever imagine having. However, what, or rather who I found back in Italy twelve years ago, has become one of my everything. My sister from another mister, my soul sister, the yin to my yang, my partner in crime, the person who makes me laugh so hard I literally cry…one of my best friends in the whole wide world.
Deanna and I met in Cassino when I was 21 and she was 18. Now I am 33 and she will be turning 30 come April. You would think we have been doing everything together since we met, meeting for coffee and wine regularly, shopping, having holidays dinners, being couch potatoes – but we can’t. We can’t do any of that because she lives in Melbourne, Australia and I’m in Chicago. Perhaps it’s the space between us and the whole idea that distance makes the heart grow fonder. Whatever the case may be, the universe brought us together years ago and to this day we are closer than I could have ever imagined we’d be.
Over the course of twelve years we have visited each other, her coming to Chicago more than me going to Melbourne. The Mister Project and I have been in Australia for almost two weeks now and departed from her and her city yesterday to head to Sydney. Saying goodbye to her is always the hardest thing to do and naturally I cry until I actually am seated on the plane. In my life, I have never laughed so hard and had the pleasure of being with someone that I know I was meant to meet.
We joke that we are basically the same person just both on each sides of the world that literally do and say the same weird things as each other. I won’t bore you with the details, but we are oddly super similar to the point that even we get creeped out by it.
Regardless of how sad our goodbyes are and as joyful as our reunions are, I am tremendously grateful for the sisterhood and friendship we have created over the years. Even with massive amounts of water and land between us, we have successfully pulled off something that without the Internet and FaceTime perhaps could have proven even more difficult than it already is. As we said goodbye at the airport, we both cried like little baby girls and I’m crying as I write this now. Thankfully we know that it’ll only be a matter of time before we meet again and laugh so hard we cry our big eyeballs out. Again, something else we have in common.
I so look forward to the day when we can share laughs again, have amazing conversation and gigantic hugs, and add to our friendship and memories. I love you my Aussie sister from another mister. Until we meet again…I will see you on FaceTime!
The Twelve Apostles, 2016