My best friend from middle school and I were basically attached at the hip. Everything she did I did, and vice versa. Her family became my family. Then we graduated high school and she moved to Boston. Now, I meet up with her as often as possible…maybe once a year or so to have coffee, catch up with one another’s lives. The friendship is not over, but it is diminished.
A girl I became friends with in my last year of college and I worked really hard on a project together. I trusted her as a collaborator and came to know her as a friend. Over the past 2 years she has become one of my best friends, despite her move to Chicago and my own to France. We are able to share and stay in touch in similar ways which allowed our friendship to grow across the miles.
Two of my best friends in the entire world live a very large ocean away from me, but I feel as if we still live in the same little mountain town, just down the street from one another. We unleash stream-of-consciousness rants to each other like we are in the same room. I know we will always be friends because of the experiences we’ve had together and the way we’ve never missed a step in each others’ lives no matter what gets in the way, be it time differences or deep blue seas.
I have been reflecting a lot about my friendships recently, and these three examples from my own life seem to generalize a trend. Young adulthood is such a transient time for friendships… The people you know in high school are difficult to stay in touch with once you’re in college. Your college buddies drift in their own directions after graduation. More and more I’m realizing how important location and communication are in a friendship. When you take away one of those foundations, some cracks begin to show.
The thing I have noticed about the particularly strong relationships I have maintained is that I speak the same language as those people. We communicate in the same way, especially crucial when it comes to dealing with the long distances in between..
As silly as it may seem, as much as I want people to live in the moment and get their heads out of their phones, I am incredibly grateful for these tools that allow me to communicate with people I love. I don’t want to think that if I weren’t able to text Laura, or message Julia and Hannah each day that we wouldn’t be friends anymore…but it sure would be an awful lot harder.
The thing is, when we can’t live in the same place anymore, social media can provide a place where we can all meet up, have coffee, catch up with one another’s lives. Finding people who are willing to meet you there despite the barriers is harder than it seems and that is okay. But I am so appreciative of those who do speak my language. They make me feel as close from across thousands of miles as we were when I saw them every day. ❂
Slice of Life is a daily writing challenge during the month of March hosted by Two Writing Teachers. Visit their blog for more information about the challenge and for advice and ideas about how to participate.