As I typed this blog title, I couldn’t help but smile. Melanie has become one of my best friends in the last year. To confess, it didn’t quite start out that way. I was at Heather’s apartment and while we were eating, I could hear Melanie from the dining area (her voice can really carry. She’ll tell you it’s because she teaches.). Melanie and Heather were roommates at the time and I had met her previously at the 4th of July fireworks show. Without giving away too many details, I overheard that she was hanging out with some people who I REALLY wanted to hang out with. So I desperately, yet very casually tried to invite myself and to be honest, I didn’t have to try very hard. Melanie was very inviting and asked if I’d like to come along. I’m pretty sure my response was something along the lines of sure, whatever, while inside I was thinking LET’S GO NOW! And frankly, that’s how our friendship began. I used Melanie to become closer with another person plain and simple. If I hadn’t, I am sure we would still be friends, but like most things in our friendship, there’s always an interesting story behind it. Nothing is ever normal with her and I, which I like. She is a friend who I know I can be completely honest with and say whatever is on my mind in whatever way I choose. I never have to censor myself when I’m around her or put things delicately… although neither one of us is particularly tough skinned. Actually, Mel is without a single doubt the most compassionate person I have ever met. Mention any sort of pain, from human trafficking to watching a documentary on Dietrich Bonhoeffer and you are guaranteed tears. God has given her a heart for others that will undoubtedly produce a global sort of change. This might sound odd, but something I love to do is watch Melanie talk with strangers. Weird, right? Well, she makes people feel very at ease no matter their background whether they are a Harvard graduate or a Korean student who has been in the US for a month. She always is hungering to know more about everything and it inspires me… Whenever I am up for an adventure (which I must confess, is not that often) I know that she’ll be on board. She challenges me to do more with my life, which I sometimes don’t like, but always need. I have seen Melanie come to my defense numerous times and I would do the same for her. Melaroo, I am a different person because of you… I love you and I can’t wait for our adventures that lie ahead. First stop Conversational Mandarin, next stop Korean Weddings?