Talking Every Day Doesn't Mean Best Friends

Talking Every Day Doesn't Mean Best Friends

This is for all the long-distance best friends, even if long distance is 30 minutes.

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Growing up, I've never gone to school around my house. They've always been about 30 minutes away from where I live, and because of this, I've made friends that live across very different places in Indianapolis.

When I was just 4 years old, I met one of my very best friends, Raya. She was a grade above me, but we ended up becoming super close. We ended up going to school together for quite some time, but eventually, she moved to a different school, so I didn't get to see her every day. So, we did what every normal pre-teen would do, and we called each other on our home phones and played Webkinz together over the phone for hours on end. But eventually we both grew up and got busy, and we stopped calling. And when it came time for us to have cell phones, there came a time when we would stop texting.

Through Raya, I met a girl named Gillian. She went to the school that Raya moved to, and we became very close very fast. The best thing about our friendship is that we are so different but so much alike that sometimes I think we share the same brain. The tricky part with us though is that we never went to the same school. There were a lot of times when our schedules didn't add up and we would go months without seeing each other. During those times, we would do our best to text or talk on the phone, but honestly, sometimes it's really hard. Now, Gillian goes to Loyola and even though there is just an hour time difference, I feel like we are light years away. We do our best to text back, but it's easy to forget or start to respond and something come up.

My best friends from my high school and I all go to different schools. We're scattered between IU, Purdue, Ball State, UIndy, and so many more. One thing that I've found in my first few months of college is that I'm horrible at responding. There are so many times where I'll read over a conversation and start to respond and then I get distracted by an assignment or realize I'm running late and just forget. Communication can be difficult when everyone runs on different schedules.

However, what I've found since I was friends with Raya, is that you don't have to talk to a friend every day for them to be deemed a 'best friend'. The beautiful thing about having best friends is that it doesn't matter how long you haven't talked to them, the second you're with them it feels like you saw them just yesterday. There are times when I feel horrible that I forget to respond, I get too busy to FaceTime, or I don't get to go visit. But not a day goes by where I don't think of the people that mean most to me, the people who I might not talk to every day, but I hold a lifetimes worth of memories with.

Starting to see these friends as we all get back from break has really shown me what it means to be best friends. It isn't about a Snapchat streak, a FaceTime call, or a text message. It's about the hug you get when you see them for the first time in a while, the one where you don't want to let you. It's the jokes you make during a game of Fish Bowl or crying watching YouTube videos together. It's about knowing that no matter how long you may not talk to them, for whatever reason, they're always going to be there to make you laugh until your stomach hurts.

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An Open Letter To My Unexpected Best Friend

You came out of nowhere and changed my life for the better.
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“It’s so amazing when someone comes to your life and you expect nothing out of it but suddenly there right in front of you is everything you ever need.”

-Unknown

Dear Unexpected Best Friend,

You were the person I never thought I would speak to and now you are my very best friend. You came out of nowhere and changed my life for the better. I can’t thank you enough for everything you have done to shape me into the person I am today. You’ve taught me what it means to be selfless, caring, patient, and more importantly adventurous.

You don’t realize how much better my life has become and all because you came out of nowhere. I didn’t see you coming. I just saw you on occasion, and now I can’t see my life without you in it. It’s funny how life works itself out like that. Our unexpected friendship filled a hole in my life that I didn’t know existed.

I don’t even remember what life was like before you came along; it most likely had a lot less laughter and spontaneity than it does today. I can call you about anything and you would drop whatever you're doing to help me in any situation. You know when I need encouragement. You know when I am at my best and when I am at my worst. You always know exactly what to say.

SEE ALSO: 8 Tiny Lies Every Young Woman Has Told Their Best Friend

I couldn’t have found a better friend than you if I tried. We balance each other out in the best way possible. You are most definitely the ying to my yang, and I don’t care how cliché that sounds. Because of you, I’ve learned to stop caring what people think and to do my own thing regardless of any backlash I might receive. You are my very favorite part of what makes me who I am to this day.

It’s as if I wished up a best friend, and poof—you appeared right in front of me. I am so beyond blessed to have you and I wouldn’t trade the world for all our memories. Thanks for coming out of nowhere.

Love you forever and a day.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Medders

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In 2019 We Are Redefining Self-Care Because Life Is Not Toxic, Your Attitude Is

Nothing is more important than taking care of your mental health. Period. But think twice before cutting someone out of your life and deeming them "toxic"

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"When we self-regulate well, we are better able to control the trajectory of our emotional lives and resulting actions based on our values and sense of purpose."
-Amy Leigh Mercree

With the new year inspiring all part of our lives, it's important to address this idea of 'self-care' that is so widely preached. Self-care, simply defined, is the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress. However, these lines have seemed to be blurred to a significant extent lately.

Our society has taken a few steps back in the treatment of our fellow peers lately. Whether it's the force of authoritarian violence, neo-nazi rallies, objectification of women, or denial of human rights to various non-dominant groups-- there is no denying that America has some strides to make. But how?

How, in such an individualistic society, do we learn that depending on people is a vulnerable strength rather than a weakness? In a country that places emphasis on being self-made, we are trained to believe that any form of codependency makes one weaker. So, we practice "self-care". We cut off those confrontational friends that try to change our life plans. We toss the relationships that don't support us in every decision we make. We quit jobs that make us unhappy after three weeks. We label everything as "toxic" when in reality it's just something that has denied us of that American instant gratification we crave so innately.

Relationships, whether friendships, intimate connections, or professional careers are not a singular commitment. So many apathetic actions are cloaked under this blanket of "self-care". There is a limit between watching out for your mental health and using it as an underlying excuse to hurt those around you. Just because you are troubled for a short period doesn't always mean that the person is "toxic" to you. Sometimes, it serves as an indicator that this relationship is worth working through and working for.

Now, I am a huge proponent for taking care of yourself in daily activities! Through a life of mindfulness and meditation, memories with good friends, and hobbies that fulfill you, it is still important to check in with yourself and see what attitudes need to be managed. But instead of making rash decisions and dropping everyone around you in your life, take these feelings inwards and work on yourself. If you feel a relationship not working, ask yourself whether its a conflict of interest or ideology, maybe even a miscommunication--instead of breaking things off and insisting you're an "independent woman" who was "being held back". There is pride in working through issues, but only if you allow yourself to be codependent.

This is by far my greatest struggle in life. The second things go wrong in a relationship, I just convince myself that I am independent--I was on my own before and I can sure as hell do it again! I convince myself that the other person just wasn't "the one" or that "if my friendships are meant to be, they'll just...be?" I'm here to tell you that I understand what it's like being an independent person trying to let people in. But please, just don't use your inability to transparently work through issues as "self-care."

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