Think of the person in your life who you call your best friend.
Now imagine they’ve moved away.
They’re no longer close to you. They no longer have the ability to call you up on a lazy summer night and ask if you would like to go out for ice cream. They can no longer come to your house for sleepovers, nor can you go to theirs. They’re no longer available for last minute phone calls or quick crisis calls when you just need to talk to somebody. The days where you could drive or walk to their house ended in a few short months, more swiftly then you ever imagined.
So what do you do now? Do you continue the friendship, even though long distance is difficult, or do you let time slowly pass, the friendship and memory of that person fading away? The choice is yours, but I’ve learned that the best things in life rarely come easy.
About six years ago my best friend moved away. You may recall me writing about her in a previous post, Some Bonds Can’t Be Broken. She boarded a plane and flew across the Atlantic Ocean to Holland. I was left here to finish out my college years without her while she journeyed to a new country to start school and continue her life.
Holland is about 3,600 miles away. The first few months were difficult, for both of us, because we were used to having the other around. Although I’m not a mind reader, some of you may be thinking that’s not very far. After all, there’s cars and trains that take people miles and miles to their destination. However, even driving cross country from Maine to California is a shorter distance then flying from New York to Holland. (It’s 3,173 miles to California from Maine.)
The thing is…any distance seems far when there is an ocean standing between you and where you want to go.
Emails, Skype, letters, and packages are the things keeping us in contact. The fact that we seem to share a brain and she is more then a best friend (she’s like a sister) are the things keeping us together. While we haven’t seen each other in person since she left, we are still friends. If it’s possible, we’re closer then we’ve ever been.
A couple weeks ago I was having a really rough time. It was life in general that was beating me down and not having my best friend in the house down the road wasn’t helping. It wasn’t bad enough that I felt like we were drifting, growing apart in our own ways. (Of course I realized later that it was never true and my bad week(s) weren’t helping how I perceived things). I thought that being so far apart would’ve become easier over the years, but, if anything, it’s just grown harder. Now we not only think about all the things we used to do together, but we think about all the things we could be doing together.
One of the things I love most about her is that I can tell her anything (and she can tell me anything too). So, I wrote her an email. I poured out my heart to her. And afterward I felt horrible. I felt like I shouldn’t have told her all my troubles and thoughts about us drifting. After all, she was the one who picked up her life and moved. Yet, at the same time, best friends should be able to talk freely and that was one of the things we prided ourselves on; that we could talk to each other without guilt.
Turns out she was feeling the same way.
At the same time, we both know we’ll never fade from each other’s lives.
We mean too much to each other.
I think life tests you. Constantly. It throws different situations in your direction just to see how you will react. It tests us to see if we’re really as strong as we think we are, as kind, as compassionate, as smart, as happy (and the list goes on and on). The way we behave in these situations brings to light what kind of person we truly have become. At the same time, we are constantly growing, changing, maturing. Experiences help us grow, and while the soul of a person never changes, I’m not sure we are ever really done growing.
So, yes, our friendship is a bit different these days, but we’re still there for each other. We still use each other for “girl talk.” We’re there when the other is having a crisis, to share in each other’s happiness and sadness, or when we simply want to talk.
I’ve learned that distance is one of the true testaments of friendship. If it’s true friendship, then, nothing care tear you and that person apart.
In the end, I think it’s simple. I can’t imagine my life without her.
Can you imagine your life without your best friend?