At the beginning of this year when one of my closest friends sat me down to tell me she was enlisting, I was hit with a rollercoaster of emotions — fear, excitement, pride, and sadness. Now that she is officially about halfway through bootcamp, I decided to share some of the things I've learned about being best friends with someone you can't see or talk to everyday.
1. It is a hard transition from being with them everyday to not seeing them for thirteen weeks.
When she was in town, my best friend and I were glued at the hip. She practically lived at my house, drove me everywhere, and made me her automatic plus one to everything. She was basically part of my family, so it was hard on all of us to see her leave and not have her barging into my house to steal food and sleep over. I quickly found myself with significantly more time alone and without one of my biggest support systems right before my whole world changed and I started my next chapter. I had to learn to live without her rather abruptly, which is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.
2. Just because they're no longer one phone call away, they're still your best friend.
Just like when she was here, she's still the first person I think of when anything happens: good, bad, or ugly. I'd be lying if I said I haven't caught myself sending a quick text message or hitting the call button on her contact in my phone. I still think about what she's up to, check in with the other important people in her life, and worry like crazy (even though I know she's doing amazing).
3. You write A LOT of letters... Like, more than you've ever in your entire life.
When the only way you can spill the tea to your favorite person is through a pen and a piece of paper, you learn to write a lot. Personally, I write her 2-3 times a week updating her on anything and everything. Even if it's completely pointless or irrelevant, I know she's just happy to hear from me. Trust me, even if they don't always respond, they read every word you say. Be prepared to spend a good chunk of money on stamps, paper, and envelopes.
4. You learn that true friendship is more about what happens when you're apart, not when you're together.
Before having this experience, I had always thought that being best friends with someone always involved constantly being together and texting/calling when you're not. I have quickly come to learn that true friendship really is about knowing you have a special place in their heart, even if you can't talk everyday. We may be far apart, but our friendship never feels distant or unimportant.
5. You learn what missing someone REALLY feels like.
I've always been someone who quickly misses people after they leave, and a good chunk of my friends and I say we miss each other when we haven't seen each other for a few days. Although texting and phone calls are different from seeing them in person, just hearing their voice and having the ability to receive a text back from them twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week makes a huge difference. Only being able to hear from my best friend once every few weeks has taught me that missing someone honestly sucks.
I genuinely cannot wait for her arrival back to Ohio this November. Until then, I'll be at the post office.
My best friend and I New Years Day, 2020Isabella Signorino