I’m fairly confident saying that we all have those people in our lives that we can count on. Those people outside of our families. Those people who are like sisters or brothers. Those people who we laugh with, cry with, fight with, but always make up with because we can’t imagine our life without them.
They are our best friend.
I met my best friend during junior year of high school and I’ll admit, it was a lot easier to navigate those halls having a friend like her by my side. So imagine how I felt when, a year later, I found out she was moving after graduation. It felt like I had been blindsided, hit by a truck. Now, I’ve never actually been hit by a truck, nor do I want to, but I can imagine the pain it would bring. All the broken bones. All the scattered limbs. And possibly death. That’s how it felt. I didn’t want her to go. She didn’t want to go. Even today I can’t imagine how she felt. After all, she was the one packing up her life and moving.
That summer, on the last day I saw her, I was still partially convinced it was all a dream, but the boxes piled in an almost empty house, the moving truck in the driveway and the “For Sale” sign stuck in the lawn told me otherwise. I waited until I was in the car, driving away from her house, away from her, away from high school memories and all the thing that could have been, to breakdown and cry. I cried off and on for a week every time I thought about her. Sometimes I still cry, but it’s different now because I’m crying for the all the things we’ll never be able to do together.
I miss her.
Maybe I should have mentioned this before, the reason why the move was so devastating. She wasn’t moving further down the road or across town. She wasn’t even moving to a different state. No, I could have dealt with any one of those better. No, she was moving to a different country. She was moving to Holland. Holland. That’s 3,600 miles away. That’s why the news was so devastating. I kept thinking how we would never see each other again, how our friendship would last for about another year before we slowly drifted apart and stopped talking all together.
I was wrong. I was so very, very wrong.
It’s been six years since my best friend flew across the ocean and started building a life in Holland and we are still close. Maybe even closer, if that’s possible. Those who know us best say we share a brain. I won’t deny it…and I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t either. We read the same books, listen to a lot of the same music and think similarly on many topics. This might sound boring, the fact that I’ve painted us as, essential, the same person, but as much as we are the same we are different and it’s those differences that keep our friendship interesting, among other things.
Don’t let the ease of our like-mindedness mislead you. Our friendship, like any friendship, takes work, but it’s work I’m willing to do.
It crossed my mind when we talked over Skype before the new year; distance means nothing. Maybe it’s something I’ve know for years, subconsciously, and just now realized. For years I’ve been afraid of us drifting apart. Even though we’re adults, we’re still growing up and we happen to be doing so in two separate places on two different continents. For years I’ve been afraid of losing my best friend, the woman who is always willing to talk and help me though difficulties. In the game of life, she is my cheerleader and I am hers. For years I’ve been afraid of losing one of the only people, other then my family, who means the world to me (you could say she’s like a sister).
But not anymore.
I see now that distance makes no difference.
Some bonds simply can’t be broken.
We are truly lucky if can find that one person we can count on; a best friend. If you ever find this person, put in the work the friendship deserves and hold on to them. A best friend is precious.
It’s true there are a lot of things we’ll never be able to do. We’ll never be able to call each other up for a quick chat or grab a spontaneous ice cream in the summer, but I look forward to seeing her again one day. I look forward to visiting her in Holland, to her coming to visit me and to all the new adventures we will share. I’m thankful for having her in my life. Even though she lives so far away, I wouldn’t change a thing because at the end of the day she’s still a part of my life.