AFTER moving about 1500km up the coast, you quickly realise who your real friends are.
They are the ones who, even after 18 months apart, nothing has really changed.
It took months of convincing her to come to Gladstone, but last weekend my friend Alisha finally did.
We've been best friends since we were about 14.
A lot has changed since then, but our friendship sure hasn't.
And I reckon if you flashed forward another 30 years, it would be the same deal.
I could name a few friends like this.
I actually feel pretty spoilt when I think about it.
Everybody has a lot of friends, but we only have a handful of real ones.
You know who I'm talking about.
They are the ones you don't have to see or speak to every day to still be close.
They are the ones you can really be honest with.
And they can tell you what you don't want to hear.
They are the ones who are there when it counts, not just when it suits them.
And they are the ones who love you no matter what.
I haven't lived in Gladstone that long, but I'd say a few of my Observer buddies fall into this category.
It's even proven fact; new research conducted by Lancaster University in the UK shows that some of the closest friendships are formed with work colleagues - particularly if their workplace environment is stressful.
Well, I'll admit The Observer can be stressful at times, but throw a bunch of 20-something people in an office for around 50 hours a week, and what do you think will happen?
We even come into work early to eat breakfast together. And hang out on the weekends.
I even live with two Observer workers.
I can't imagine my life without this bunch.
But this week marks my last in The Observer office.
Don't worry, I'm not leaving Gladstone.
Next Monday I start as the new journalist at Channel 7.
I'm really excited to be making the jump to broadcast journalism, but I'm sad to say goodbye to my Observer family.
I'll still see them at social outings (and two of them at home) but I'm going to miss this workplace.
And I just hope that even though I'll be considered 'the competition', that nothing really changes between us.
I'll never forget my time at The Observer, so please don't forget about me.
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