Your High School Friends Will Survive The Distance

You And Your High School Besties Will Survive The Distance, That's Why They're Your Best Friends

A brief history of "the four blonde girls."

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The four blonde girls. The ones that all looked alike, drank too much coffee, dressed nice, and were always together. The goody-goods who always seemed to follow the rules. The ones who laughed unnecessarily loudly everywhere they went. I suppose these would be the most common labels we received in high school. But labels never really mattered to us four.

It was a friendship that was rare, especially among high school girls. From the very beginning, we cared about each other on a deeper level. Like family. We cared about the things that mattered. We all understood the world in the same way. I'm positive it was fated.

We never got caught up in trivial things. Drama simply wasn't our style. We all knew what was meant for each one of us: so much more. Something so big and spectacular we couldn't comprehend it quite yet in our tidy, suburban town. When things got tough, we always reminded each other of that.

We picked up each other's messes as if they were our own. Picked up the broken pieces and offered the best shoulders for crying. We knew there was nothing that couldn't be fixed with a little iced coffee and a hug. We loved one another as much as we loved our own selves.

The night before we were separated for college, we watched an endless stream of photos and videos on the couch with tear-filled eyes and laughter. The best moments of us. We all put four rings on our left pinky, one to represent each of us. And we promised: a letter a month, no matter what. We would send the letters in rotation between the four of us, so that each time a page would be added on. A packet of memories. Of how we were connected even in our time apart. We hugged for the last time, and I wondered how I would never get through nine months without them.

But somehow I have. Nine months and a big letter packet later, and we are still us. Maybe even more so.

We got home and realized there wasn't a thing out of place. Realized this friendship isn't something you find twice in your lifetime. We're still the four blonde girls. We always will be.

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Working With People Who Are Dying Teaches You So Much About How To Live

Spending time with hospice patients taught me about the art of dying.

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Death is a difficult subject.

It is addressed differently across cultures, lifestyles, and religions, and it can be difficult to find the right words to say when in the company of someone who is dying. I have spent a lot of time working with hospice patients, and I bore witness to the varying degrees of memory loss and cognitive decline that accompany aging and disease.

The patients I worked with had diverse stories and interests, and although we might have had some trouble understanding each other, we found ways to communicate that transcended any typical conversation.

I especially learned a lot from patients severely affected by dementia.

They spoke in riddles, but their emotions were clearly communicated through their facial expressions and general demeanor, which told a story all on their own.

We would connect through smiles and short phrases, yes or no questions, but more often than not, their minds were in another place. Some patients would repeat the details of the same event, over and over, with varying levels of detail each time.

Others would revert to a child-like state, wondering about their parents, about school, and about family and friends they hadn't seen in a long time.

I often wondered why their minds chose to wander to a certain event or time period and leave them stranded there before the end of their life. Was an emotionally salient event reinforcing itself in their memories?

Was their subconscious trying to reconnect with people from their past? All I could do was agree and follow their lead because the last thing I wanted to do was break their pleasant memory.

I felt honored to be able to spend time with them, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was intruding on their final moments, moments that might be better spent with family and loved ones. I didn't know them in their life, so I wondered how they benefited from my presence in their death.

However, after learning that several of the patients I visited didn't have anyone to come to see them, I began to cherish every moment spent, whether it was in laughter or in tears. Several of the patients never remembered me. Each week, I was a new person, and each week they had a different variation of the same story that they needed to tell me.

In a way, it might have made it easier to start fresh every week rather than to grow attached to a person they would soon leave.

Usually, the stories were light-hearted.

They were reliving a memory or experiencing life again as if it were the first time, but as the end draws nearer, a drastic shift in mood and demeanor is evident.

A patient who was once friendly and jolly can quickly become quiet, reflective, and despondent. I've seen patients break down and cry, not because of their current situation, but because they were mourning old ones. These times taught me a lot about how to be just what that person needs towards the end of their life.

I didn't need to understand why they were upset or what they wanted to say.

The somber tone and tired eyes let me know that what they had to say was important and worth hearing. What mattered most is that someone who cared was there to hear it.

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How To Cope With A Best Friend Breakup


Breaking up with a boyfriend is one thing, but breaking up with your best friend is a whole new level of heartbreak.

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We all know breakups can be tough, but when that breakup happens to be between you and your best friend, things reach a new level of heartbreak. I met my best friend junior year of high school after our Spanish teacher randomly assigned us to be partners; we struggled so much in that class but in the end, we truly became inseparable. When senior year rolled around we were still close as ever; people would often joke that we were sisters because we looked and acted so much alike. We would go on little dates together, go to parties together, and were always the first person we called when something "major happened."

When my best friend's boyfriend of four years cheated on her while we were spring breaking in Europe, it became my duty to make her feel better; I would randomly drop off flowers and little notes to her house, spend countless hours just listening to her cry and vent, and even stopped talking to people associated with her boyfriend so as to show my "support." All of these things were no big deal to me considering I loved this girl like a sister; whatever she needed I was there to give that to her.

Things soon took a sharp turn when we entered not only the same college but the same sorority. While I was struggling with the social aspect of FSU, my best friend soon found new best friends. When I started having major issues with my boyfriend, I would automatically text/call my best friend as she did with me, but instead of support, I got the sense that she was passive and uninterested. Our little dates and goofy inside jokes disappeared and reappeared between her and her new friends, and my comfortableness around her soon turned into insecurity.

Coming to terms with the fact that the girl I knew everything about is now basically a stranger was a hard one to overcome; I didn't want to accept the fact that my best friend decided it was time to find new ones. It's heartbreaking knowing that the special things you shared with a person are now being shared with others, and it's hard to accept the fact that you aren't wanted or needed by the one person you thought would be by your side forever.

Since school has ended I think I have accepted the fact that we're no longer what we used to be. Of course, it still stings when I see social media posts with her new, college friends, but I just have to remind myself that this is part of life and I just have to move on. I will forever cherish the memories I made with her, but it's time to acknowledge that they were made with someone in my past, not with someone in my present.

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