Recently I got the chance to catch up with an old friend who I hadn't seen in over a year. A YEAR. Growing up together and getting really close in high school didn't prepare me for her living in Evansville while I was up in West Lafayette...hell, I rarely saw the people who lived down the street from me these last few years at college. That being said, I've been lucky to really be able to stay close with a few people who are special to me. It's like time hasn't even passed, even though it most certainly has.
Some friends come and go, but there are very few things that feel better than simply catching up with an old friend. You might text from time to time, or swipe up on a Snapchat story, or comment on Facebook or Instagram posts. But when you get to sit down after a long period of time and sort of re-live your friendship but in a completely alternative way, something happens. You realize that while you've been apart and living separate lives, you've still held that connection you had "way back when."
It's hard going from being with someone maybe 8 hours of your day, 5 days a week–not including the time spent outside of classes–to seeing them maybe 8 hours total in a year if you're lucky. But that is life, and all relationships take work. I've found that some of my relationships I've had to force, and others return naturally. One thing that has been really hard on me the last few years is learning that that is okay. You're always told that as you grow up, people grow apart, but it's tough to actually experience that.
To the people who continue to be intentional in my life, regardless of the distance and time apart, I just want to let you know that I love you. I'm grateful for you, and it makes me so happy that you deemed our friendship important enough to continue. I know it isn't easy, and our messages consist of "I miss you"s and "we need to catch up!"s, but when we finally do get together we have the best of times. We could meet for an hour at Starbucks and just talk, and that's all we need. Nothing special, nothing extravagant, yet we can pick up right where we left off the time before.
I also want to thank you. The transition to college was a little rough because for the first time in my life I had to completely start over, and do it on my own. So many of you were incredibly helpful in the time leading up to moving out, as well as during the first year. I'm grateful for the long texts, silly Snapchats, meaningful letters, and late-night phone calls. Even though you weren't physically with me, I knew that you were there for me, and that was enough.
Even though we made new friends and live completely separate lives, I'm glad we've kept in touch. Your friendship meant the world to me in high school (or even middle school or elementary school if I was lucky), and it honestly means even more now. Thank you for making the standard of friendship that much higher, and I can't wait until we get to see each other again. For now, I miss you, and if I haven't seen you in more than a month, we definitely need to catch up.