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. ❂
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9 thoughts on “will you be my friend?”
This is a wonderful reminder. I need to do this more often-reach out to friends. But I agree with what you said, that you “speak the same language”. This sheds light on the friendships that are still strong even after time and distance. Thanks for the share!
Yes, you are really lucky to live in a world that has these tools. My college friends who were and probably still are amazing people, are long gone out of my life now. I could Facebook them – but it would be silly. I have come to treasure the friends I’ve made in the past 10 years and work hard to stay connected – tools make it easier – but I also know now not to let them slip away!
It’s funny who you do and don’t keep in touch with – I haven’t lived in my hometown for ~5 years now but I go back every Christmas, and there’s people I catch up with every year now who 10 years ago I was barely in contact with, and other people I thought I was close friends with who I’ve drifted away from.
And YESSSSSS to technology. Being able to send a quick “I saw this cool thing today!” message to anywhere in the world – for free! – is so helpful for staying close with people.
I’m no longer in touch with any of my friends from my hometown except one and, while we rarely talk, when we do talk or see each other it’s like no time or distance has come between us. I could be better at keeping in regular touch though..
My friends from Uni – while all great people – have all gone off doing their own things. We’re no longer in contact except the odd ‘like’ on a Facebook post. We move in different circles now, which I think is fair to say. I take every opportunity to support their latest endeavours on Twitter or whatnot and would happily meet up, but we haven’t spoken for 5 years (wow, that long!)
I find my friends here, now, are my wife’s friends, which isn’t a bad thing. I also have new friends of my own through my volunteering though most of our meet ups revolve around that. I’d call my work colleagues friends and I make a point of meeting up with an ex-colleague once a month for dinner which I love doing though it’s become more difficult now she has moved out of London.
I guess I don’t really feel like I have a close friend now, aside from my friend back home. Don’t get me wrong: I have *a lot* of time for my friends and I hope they know this, but lately I feel like I’ll be bothering them if I send a txt or call them up (when in reality they’re probably pleased to hear from me!)
Friendships are so important and powerful. They sustain us.
You got me to think of friends I haven’t seen in a while and those I do regularly. It is fun to see a friend who I haven’t in years, like Sheila, and it be as if only days have passed, not years!
When I wrote this I was also thinking about some of your friends who were in your wedding party, but you probably haven’t seen in many years!
I can relate all too much to this post. My best friends live in San Diego, Cincinnati, and rural Indiana. I’m in Chicago. It’s crazy to think how we used to all hang out every day at one point in our lives. Thank goodness for Snapchat and Facetime/Skype; seeing their faces and hearing their voices make all the difference.
CRYING!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!
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