My Best Friend And I Are Closer Than Ever, Even 462 Miles Apart

My Best Friend And I Are Closer Than Ever, Even 462 Miles Apart

Not everything great about college has to be new.

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At the end of summer, I was reunited with my best friend for the first time in weeks. I was also saying goodbye to her before she went to Mizzou and, one week later, I would go to Miami. She spent most of the summer playing tennis competitively, and I had traveled for a few weeks.

But this had been the case for our final two years of high school when she bounced between Illinois and Florida for tennis training. We talked on the phone and FaceTimed throughout those years, but there was a disconnect because she didn't know what was going on at my school, and I didn't understand her life of tennis.

As I got settled at Miami, I tried to text and call my friends from home when I had the chance. I call my friend from Mizzou when I walk across campus, sit in the dining hall and procrastinate doing homework. Already having a long-distance best friend made me not have to adjust to texting and calling as main means of communication. We complain about our classes, talk about food and give each other motivation when "Grey's Anatomy" is calling our attention more than actual biology. She knows to pep talk me into going out and being social when I'm lying in my dorm room bed, and I will listen to her rants and justify her feelings with the wisdom only a third-party consult could have. Despite the distance, we are going through the same experiences and are closer than ever.

We both made friends with people in our hall and in our activities, but it was calming to have someone to cheer you on from states away. When I stressed the first week that I hadn't found best friends yet, she told me not to try so hard. We talk each other into bearing the cold, getting exercise and taking time out for ourselves when we are too blinded by assignments to see that we need a break. Having a best friend at another college is like when Remy was in the chef's hat in the movie "Ratatouille." I am the one doing things, but my best friend will be hearing everything and helping me navigate life.

As the semester ends and we are comfortable in our new homes and with new friends, we still tell each other all the exciting happenings in our lives. My Ohio friends are characters in stories she listens to, and there is a cast of people in Missouri I hear all about, too. Moving on and up from high school doesn't have to be growing apart from your old friends, but instead, you have fans at other schools rooting you on every step of the way.

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I Ghosted My Old Self For 5 Months In An Effort To Reevaluate My Life

My life fell apart faster than a drunk dude approaching a Jenga stack.

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BREAKING (not fake) NEWS: It's true, you have to hit your lowest before hitting your highest.

I want to share my lowest with you, and I'm almost ashamed to say it had nothing to do with the loss of both of my parents. I like to think I handled that like a warrior.

Turns out I didn't, and the hurt I've been burying from that hit me all at once, the same moment my life fell apart faster than a drunk dude approaching a Jenga stack.

My life flipped upside down overnight back in August. I had my heart broken shattered, lost two very important friendships that I thought were with me until the end, lost my 9-5 job, my health took a hit stronger than a boulder, and I was absolutely lost. For the first time, ever, I let go of the reigns on my own life. I had no idea how to handle myself, how to make anyone around me happy, how to get out of bed or how to even begin the process of trying to process what the f*ck just happened. I was terrified.

Coming from the girl who never encountered a dilemma she couldn't fix instantaneously, on her own, with no emotional burden. I was checked out from making my life better. So I didn't try. I didn't even think about thinking about trying.

The only relatively understandable way I could think to deal with anything was to not deal with anything. And that's exactly what I did. And it was f*cking amazing.

I went into hiding for a week, then went on a week getaway with my family, regained that feeling of being loved unconditionally, and realized that's all I need. They are all I need. Friends? Nah. Family. Only. Always.

On that vacation, I got a call from the school district that they wanted me in for an interview the day I come home. It was for a position that entailed every single class, combined, that I took in my college career. It was a career that I had just gotten my degree for three months before.

I came home and saw my doctor and got a health plan in order. I was immediately thrown into the month-long hiring process for work. I made it a point to make sunset every single night, alone, to make sure I was mentally caught up and in-check at the same exact speed that my life was turning. I was not about to lose my control again. Not ever.

Since August, I have spent more time with family than ever. I've read over 10 new books, I've discovered so much new music, I went on some of my best, the worst and funniest first dates, I made true, loyal friends that cause me zero stress while completely drowning me in overwhelming amounts of love and support, I got back into yoga, and I started that job and damn near fell more in love with it than I ever was for the guy I lost over the summer.

But most importantly, I changed my mindset. I promised myself to not say a single sentence that has a negative tone to it. I promised myself to think three times before engaging in any type of personal conversation. I promised myself to wake up in a good mood every damn day because I'm alive and that is the only factor I should need to be happy.

Take it from a girl who knew her words were weapons and used them frequently before deciding to turn every aspect of her life into positivity — even in the midst of losing one of my closest family members. I have been told multiple times, by people so dear to me that I'm "glowing." You know what I said back? F*ck yes I am, and I deserve to.

I am so happy with myself and it has nothing to do with the things around me. It's so much deeper than that, and I'm beaming with pride. Of myself. For myself.

I want to leave you with these thoughts that those people who have hurt me, left me, and loved me through these last couple of months have taught me

Growth is sometimes a lonely process.
Some things go too deep to ever be forgotten.
You need to give yourself the permission to be happy right now.
You outgrow people you thought you couldn't live without, and you're not the one to blame for that. You're growing.
Sometimes it takes your break down to reach your breakthrough.

Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

My god, it's so f*cking good.

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My Best Friend May Live On The Other Side Of The World, But Nothing Can Separate Us

Although we haven't met yet, I know everything will fall into place when we do.

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Dear Hannah,

Sometimes when I don't feel like paying attention in class or when I'm trying to go to sleep at night, I dream about the day when one of us gets off the plane after flying for ten hours just to finally hug each other tightly. I've known you for two years now. Two years may not seem like a long time, but when it comes to not seeing your best friend, it seems as if a lifetime has gone by.

Sometimes it feels like it won't ever happen. We're both in college, are working basic jobs that are only good enough to help us buy those Fila shoes we've always wanted or to pay for gas for our cars, and are merely busy in every aspect with our own separate priorities we have in different countries.

But, I know we want this to happen so much that we'll make it happen, and when that day comes, it'll be so worth the wait.

It'll let us finally drive around each other's neighborhoods and blast our favorite music (preferably Lorde, Tyler the Creator and Rex Orange County… all compromised on our playlist that we share), take each other to our favorite restaurants, stores, parks, and most importantly, be utterly stupid together and make each other laugh until we're crying.

Most importantly, it'll let us finally be each other's presence rather than through a phone screen.

You've been there for probably most of my most exciting moments. You never failed to cheer me on and make me feel like I can actually do anything I set my mind to.

I'll never forget when we FaceTimed each other for the very first time. It was so natural. If anyone were watching me talk to you from afar, it would appear as if I'd known you my whole life. I'll never forget when you finally met our favorite artist at her concert and telling me all about it. I'll never forget when you sent me a bouquet of my favorite roses for my eighteenth birthday and the beautiful letter that came along with it. I'll never forget telling you that I got accepted to my dream college. I'll never forget when I first asked my mom about possibly visiting you, the "maybe" reply I got from her, and the excitement in both of our voices when I called you to tell you about it.

You're my absolute best friend, the friend I've been searching for my whole life, and the sister I never had.

I can't wait to do everything we constantly talk about doing together. I can't wait for you to show me your life, and for me to show you mine.

I can't wait to meet you.

Love always, Rachel

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