“Some people are in your life for a season, and others for a reason”
The quote above holds a lot of truth in my mind. In my 19 years on this planet, I’ve interacted with hundreds of people. The friends that I have acquired and lost throughout the years have all impacted my life in some way. While they were in my life, my naive mind thought they would stay with me forever. As I grew up, changed, and moved away from places, I realized that some people simply are not meant to stay in your life. Everyone changes and has to part ways eventually; everyone except those who are willing to stay in your life and actually make the effort to stay in touch, even when you are 1,000 miles from each other.
After 8th grade, I moved away from the sunny state of Florida, to the chilly garden state of New Jersey. At first, I stayed in contact with my friends back home, but after my Freshman year in high school, those connections fizzled out. This experience made think that the distance was to blame for the end of these friendships.
Three years went by in Jersey. I became friends with so many incredible people and immersed myself our Mock Trial team, easily becoming close to my teammates. My school was a safe haven from the rest of the world because I had amazing friends; friends who I could tell actually cared and wanted the best for me. My theory was proven at the end of my Junior year, when I announced that I was moving back to South Florida that summer, after my mother told me she had found a great job back home.
My friends, who had gone from being my acquaintances, to being the best friends I had ever had, showed me unconditional support, even though they were saddened by the news. They all knew how much I loved Florida and how much I yearned to return. I’ll be honest, when the car parked in that New Jersey street for the first time, I wanted a one way flight back, but when I looked at my friends three years later as I told them the news, I wanted to stay right where I was.
The school year ended and it was time to say goodbye. I don’t think anything has hurt me more than parting ways with the girls who had shaped my high school experience and had grown with me throughout the turbulent years. Each goodbye was different but they all had some things in common: tears were shed and words of love and appreciation were shared.
One of my friends came over to my house and handed me an envelope. When I opened it, I found a piece of green nylon and a picture of my friend and I. The item had come from a parachute that we had each cut a piece from during a school assembly. A veteran had spoken to us about how he had been packing parachutes for soldiers, and one day, years later, he met a man whose parachute he had packed.
He told us that we all have someone who packs our parachute; someone who does all they can to hold us up and keep us from crashing to the ground. At the assembly, I remember my friend saying, “I know exactly who to give this to.”
I figured she would give it to her mom or dad, having no idea she felt that I had done so much for her. That was the moment where I learned that people change people and that some people are in your life for a reason. Some help you, some need your help, and some give as much as they take. My friends definitely fit into the last category. We were always there for each other and continue to be there. They changed my life for the better.
These girls were not only in my life for the time that I lived in Jersey. Two years have passed and we continue to text each other everyday, call when we’re running errands, and facetime when we have things to say to each other that cannot be expressed through words on a screen.
Sometimes we are extremely busy with our different schedules, but that has never stopped any of us from communicating with each other every so often. Now that we are all in college, we are all split up in some way. We check up on one another to make sure we are doing well, and send memes and words of encouragement on our group chat as many times as we can.
This experience showed me that distance does not matter if a friendship is strong enough. If there is a foundation that was built properly and if people are willing to make the effort to talk, friendships won’t end all of a sudden.
Distance is annoying, but it is not as limiting as people seem to think, especially with all the technology available to us. Friends who want to stay in your life will find a way to stay, and after this, you will understand the reason why they remain there.