One of the best things about college is, obviously, the friends you make. I met so many new people my freshman year and pretty much reinvented myself. I joined a sorority and from the very first day I was spending all of my time with people I barely knew anything about. That first day turned into first month, then a year and then I seemed to blink and we were all graduating together. Those friends lasted all four years and many of them have lasted long since then, as well.
One of the other best things about college is how close those friends that you make are to you. Literally and figuratively. But in this case I mean literally. Sophomore year I lived inches from them in the sorority house. (Shout out to 820 Chautauqua Avenue – thanks for the mems!) Junior year I lived feet from two of them in a house. Then senior year I lived in walking distance from some and just a minute or two drive from everyone else. Everyone was in reaching distance. No one had to try that hard. You knew, every day, you were going to see them and it was almost effortless.
One of the worst things about the real world is the distance. Literally and figuratively. We all get different jobs with different demands and different schedules. Those once effortless friendships either survive because you decide to continue to give the effort or they dwindle away because one or the other decides the effort isn’t necessarily worth it. Sometimes it’s not exactly a decision – distance just happens and before you know it, that friendship has become more of a memory than a relationship and neither side uses the energy to fix it.
It doesn’t make us bad people. It makes us human. People change. Life gets busy. But those who you’re meant to be friends with for life will always be the ones who you hold close.
After graduation, most of my college friends who were from the DFW area moved back to Dallas. Dallas is one of the best places for post grad jobs and, not to mention, fun as hell. I moved back because it meant I would be close to family and friends and those are two things I need in order to emotionally survive in this world.
So, there was a solid group of us here. We had the “Dallas” group text and everything and none of us made happy hour, game day or weekend plans without consulting the group. We had a good thing going. Then, in November 2016 we lost the first member of the group to another city. And not just some city but the city… as in New York City (aka we might not ever get her back because that place is so amazing, ugh.) Then, four months later, we lost the next one… to the same place.
Don’t get me wrong – I was so excited for both of them. It was sad for me when each of them left but I was super proud of them for making that huge leap. Not everyone could uproot their lives to go live in one of the biggest cities in the world. Plus, I definitely thought I was lucky that two of my friends chose the same city to live in – it makes visiting each of them that much easier because I can do it at the same time. But still, having two of my very best friends – two people who I’m the closest to out of everyone I know – move 1,500 miles away, was not ideal.
Instead of going out together on Friday nights, we wait to hear details over FaceTime on Saturday mornings. Instead of lying around hung over together on Sundays, we text each other asking what hangover food we should get that night before “our diet starts Monday.”
The group text on Saturday morning when I admit to waking up with half-eaten Taco Bell in my bed from the night before.
Although it’s not the same as living in the same city, we still make it work. Because, as cliché as it sounds, these are the friendships that last a life time. I talk to my two best friends who live in NYC more than I talk to some of my good friends who live a five-minute drive from me. We find excuses to buy last minute, expensive plane tickets that drain our bank accounts to visit each other because going more than two months without seeing each other just sounds miserable.
After a trip to NYC.
At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter if your best friend lives five minutes or twenty-five hours from you. If the friendship means enough to you, you make it work. I have best friends in Dallas, New York and Tulsa and they’re all always the first ones to hear about anything good, bad, sad, or meaningless going on in my life (or on my social media feed) because I value their opinions, encouragement, praises and even criticism the most.
Being long distance best friends doesn’t mean you have to drift apart or lose touch, it just means you have to work a little harder at that friendship and show them a little extra love. Plus, in our case, I think we’ll all find our way of ending up (physically) close to each other again, one day.
Us, years from now, when we’re all back in the same time zone.
P.S. I love you girls!