A few days ago, I packed up my suitcase from my best friend's place in Florida after visiting for a long weekend. I always think it's going to be just a little easier leaving this time than the last, but it never is. We seem to have a better time than the last one. Our dates on the calendar come slowly, but our time together goes by way too fast. Soon I found myself holding my people close, then standing in the airport alone crying my eyes out because I already missed my best friends.
Because I have far away friends, I always have someone special to visit and a guaranteed good time. It's exciting to not only to make memories at home with them but also at their college and other places as well. People go to college, graduate school, pursue dreams, get jobs, tie the knot and eventually settle down. We can either lose our long-lasting friendships, or we can choose to fight a little harder to remain close. I choose the second; not because it's easy or convenient, but because it's worth it.
Life often takes people across the city, across the state or even across the world from us.
1. People underestimate the power of a phone call.
Miles in between you and connection problems can make talking face to face impossible, but your person is always just a phone call away. Even if you can't see their face and expressions, there is nothing quite like hearing their voice on the other end of the line. It's almost like you are right there with them when you come together to talk about what is going on in your lives. There is nothing that says two friends can't spend time together and hang out, even if it's not physically.
2. Out of sight doesn't have to mean out of mind
I am not close geographically to "my people" but they are still close to my heart. I will continue to invest in them if they are five minutes away or five-hundred miles. It makes no difference because we are more than the miles between us. My friends have boyfriends, girlfriends, parents, jobs and some even have kids. Your friend may have a boyfriend or girlfriend, parents, jobs, kids and tend to get distracted by everything around them. This is normal to let your everyday life consume your thoughts, but you can make room to let other things enter your mind too.
Have things around your place to remind you of them, set reminders to check on them and get into a habit of catching up with people while doing chores or going somewhere. There are a few people I try to text on the daily — sometimes it's me reminding them I'm thinking about them, something random I saw that made me smile or telling them good morning. Every phone call, text and attempt at putting in the effort will make you two just a little closer than you were before.
3. It's tough to not be there when you really need and want to
Time passes and the other person can begin to change. It can be difficult to find common ground after you've been away for a while and your lives are two separate worlds. It can be easy to lose touch without intentionality, hard work and commitment. Keep the lines of communication and honesty open. Show up and be fully present. You both deserve the friendship to be genuine and prioritized.
Far-away-friends give missing people a whole new meaning. It's hard when you can't be there for every birthday, graduation, break-up, celebration and bad day. But, even between the hundreds of miles, time zones and missed ice cream dates, they are still your person. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter because you would do anything for this person and to keep your friendship with them. Long distance is worth it to still call someone your best friend.
The best stuff is always difficult. It sometimes takes longer. But you're deserving of people and people are deserving of you. Don't hold back or isolate based on past fear or that one time it didn't go so well. Pick yourself up and make the next hard move towards people. Towards abundance. Towards a life outside the lines. You've got this. I believe so fiercely in you — Hannah Brencher
4. You don't have to talk every day to be close.
We don't have to talk every single day. Sometimes it's not possible with college, jobs, family, other friends and just life in general. It gets so busy, but the right ones make time for you whether it's on their commute, the weekend or at the end of a long day. When you do long distance with someone, you usually can know pretty quickly if they are one of the rare ones you may not come across in life again.
The smallest things often make the most impact — a text, quick phone call so they can hear your voice, hand-writing a letter (the way to my heart) or a video call while you both study. Tag each other in posts and send each other selfies or other pictures. I don't know about you, but it makes me happy to see a notification from one of "my people," knowing they were thinking of me miles away.
5. Staying is a choice.
Reality is what happens when we make ourselves come back to earth instead of running through space. I think we all want to run sometimes because we get too overwhelmed to stay. Just keep walking and you'll see this place is full of others just like us. Choosing to stay somewhere tough can be the hardest thing, but rewarding. There may be no hugs, regular hangouts or a hundred texts in between phone calls. But your person is still your person, even a thousand miles away.
6. You don't want to waste the time you have.
Your energy and time are valuable things. You get to decide where it goes. Try to focusing less on doing things and more on people you know will fill you and encourage others. We only get one chance at this life of love. It's all a choice we get to make. You can share the pain, but also some of the biggest joys with another person that you choose no matter the distance between you.
7. Nothing is the same as being face to face
You can hear the person's voice on the other line, see them on video chat, read each other's words over and over through letters and share thoughts in between through text. But nothing comes even close to sitting next to them, even in silence doing nothing. You can hear their voice. You can see their face. You can talk to them (and they can talk back to you) in real time; no delay. Every time I am face to face with my person, there is nothing like it and I just want to be present in every moment.
8. You have never missed anyone as much before
I never expected to be "that one" losing it in the airport. No one mentally prepares you for what it's going to feel like when you part ways and don't know when next time will be. I keep thinking of my favorite moments, wanting to live them over again. I keep thinking I see them in places they can't be. I keep hoping and thinking they will just walk up to me and start talking again. Then I know I'll be a little more okay and won't feel such a quiet, painful and empty spot in my heart. Each time I leave, I feel like I left something behind. I did, but also I took something with me that I didn't have before. It was all completely worth it, even if I'm still missing you.
The best things in life take work and long distance ones take extra work, but I'll never regret keeping up with those who are near and dear to my heart. Together we can face anything together, even if that means being vulnerable over video call instead of across the table.