You think about them all the time. You text and email them constantly, and forgo evening activities to Skype for hours at a time. You plan trips to visit months in advance, and count down the days with anticipation that would rival that of a 3 year old at Christmas. You miss them terribly and wish you could see them every day.
But alas, such is the nature of long-distance friendship.
I was lucky enough to meet some of my best friends during my four undergraduate years, and even luckier still to live with them for three of those four. We all came from completely different cities, countries and continents, and yet managed to find each other in small town Kingston. We experienced so much together, and supported each other through the many small, and large, challenges that an adult will face as they come of age. However, this coming of age also means facing the reality of graduation and, four years later, we were at a point where our paths diverge, and we ended up, again, in different cities, countries and continents.
As nostalgic as I am for times spent with those four lovely ladies, I’m also a bit grateful for the distance. As we went out separate ways after a tearful graduation dinner, we each embarked on a different road of life, each pursuing a different life and career goal. From a more or less common place, both physically and psychologically, we had, almost unbeknownst to ourselves at the time, matured into completely individual people. Making the decision to move to different cities, settle into different ways of life and build on different interests made us realize the real strength of our friendship: that, despite being so different, we had found that crucial piece of common ground that made for a deep, long-lasting connection. We had grown together, an experience that is irreproducible and surprisingly rare. So, in this sense, being far away has made us cherish that connection even more, and work that much harder to maintain those bonds that we cultivated for four years.
Needless to say, I would absolutely love to go back to the times when the energy required to hang out was equivalent that required to climb a set of stairs, to the days when lemon squares and creatively shaped cookies were always on hand, when post-night out food was Kraft dinner and hotdogs (don’t judge). But those memories will always last, and who knows – maybe one day we will raise kids with an equal love of stay cats, yam fries and all night dance parties.