Ever since I graduated college (May 2018), I have started long distance friendships with a lot of my close friends. One friend moved to Nashville, one is about to move to Ohio, and others live right down the street, in the same town. While I knew that these long distance friendships were coming, and I had expectations for these friendships, my expectations for long distance ended up being way different than reality played it out to be.
A long distance friendship looks like calling your best friend after work only to find that she is busy with her own life. A long distance friendship looks like trying to make time for each other but only being able to spare 15 minutes before moving onto the next thing on your calendar. A long distance friendship looks like writing a whole lot of letters to get your message across, to show your friends that you love them, to let them know that you still care. A long distance friendship looks like planning when you will see each other months in advance. It looks like a lot of hard work, a lot of tears, a lot of frustration, and a lot of “what ifs.” What if I drove there for the day just so we could see each other for a few hours? What if we met halfway? What if I came next weekend?
Long distance any way you put it is hard. It is hard to support and show love for your friends when you are several hundred miles away. It is hard to catch each other on the phone. It is hard to get two working schedules to coordinate. It is hard to keep up with the texting that often leads to miscommunication. It is just plain hard.
I’ve been frustrated. I’ve been so frustrated that I’ve cried. I’ve been wanting my long distance friends to be in the same room with me so bad that I’ve had a meltdown. I’ve been elated that my friends and I could simply find time to talk.
While I could probably find more things to gripe about than things to have a positive outlook on, I’ve been really trying to find the good and wonderful through these working friendships. I’ve found that communication is key. I think that I have become a better and more clear communicator through my long distance friendships. I’ve learned that miscommunication is real and it happens often. I’ve found that your true friendships are revealed. It takes two to make a friendship work, and it becomes clear who wants to be your friend, and who is your friend out of proximity and convenience. I’ve found that letter writing is such a passion of mine- something that I have fallen in love with all over again. I mean, who doesn’t like receiving a handwritten letter in the mail? I’ve found that when two friends finally do get together (in person!!), the time spent is more cherished and I can soak up every second, not taking any time for granted. While there are a lot of hard things about long distance, I’ve found that I can grow through it and become a better version of me. To all of my long distance friends, even if you are right down the street but I never see you, please know that I care about you. Please know that you are the best and you are a treasure in my life.