Let me first say, I have been completely spoiled. And what I mean by that, is that I found a group of friends who were, and still are, just amazing, and it all started in college.
There were no two of us alike. We came from different parts of the country, had different upbringings, different personalities and different views of the world. But one thing was constant. We were (and still are) absolute best friends. We couldn’t spend enough time together. We traveled together, played sports together, lived together and spent all of our free time together. One person’s apartment was everyone’s apartment. There were constantly people coming in and out, at all times of the day and night. It wasn’t abnormal to wake up in the morning to four people sleeping in the living room and another two that snuck into your room and grabbed a spot on your floor (or in your bed in some cases–with or without you). We spent the afternoons lounging lazily doing homework and watching Sex And The City. We spent our weekends dancing. Always dancing. Wherever we went, regardless of if there was music, we were dancing. Every dinner was communal. You knew that if you were cooking dinner, you had to prepare for six, or ten or whoever decided to show up. However, most dinners were ordered in pizza or ready-made chicken dip. Very rarely was there a moment alone. But it never seemed crowded. It felt comfortable. It felt like family. Our dynamic was thrown off when just one was missing. This is the way it continued for four years. Constantly surrounded by a group of people who came to be best friends.
Then graduation came, and along with it, reality. This specific reality meant best friends moving away and the loss of how I viewed friendship to be.
Through college, friendship meant consistency. Friendship meant something to do every weekend, because who else would you spend your time with? Friendship meant Tuesday night margaritas and Thursday afternoon walks in the park. Friendship meant having someone who would listen when you were completely irrational without judgement, and then tell you the hard truth. Friendship meant being there, physically and theoretically.
When we graduated we all developed different priorities. First came jobs, then husbands, then babies, family responsibilities, travel, and a million other things combined with the fact that everyone was once again off living in different parts of the country. The world we came to love was completely disrupted by real life. The cozy existence of our routine of day-to-day friendship that had been established so many years ago was now replaced by thousands of miles and adulthood.
The friendship had to shift with the change of life’s seasons. Rather than talking every day, we have to text. Rather than seeing each other every day we have to Skype. Our gossip sessions are now through group messages and witnessing the latest events happen through pictures. No one mentioned that when college came to an end, that so did the way day-to-day friendships were conducted. In my mind we would all continue to live in the same place, right next door to each other, coming and going from each other’s homes as we pleased, happy in our own bubble. Wrong. Day-to-day friendship as I knew it was officially ruined. (Ok, I know this is a bit dramatic, but when your world revolves around your friendships and things begin to change, it feels like the whole world is crumbling.)
It’s a difficult transition from having your best friends in the next room, or just down the stairs, to now being spread out throughout this and other countries. It becomes pretty lonely when the people who understand and care about you the most are so far away.
I miss my girls (and a few specific guys) every single day. I miss all of us being in the same place to share the biggest moments of life together. I miss laughing so hard over absolutely nothing. I miss quoting movies and TV shows regularly (and it being completely normal). I miss sitting on the porch and talking about dreams and relationships and travel. And I miss more than anything, just being together–the feeling of belonging.
I think that was the hardest thing for me to come to terms with. In college, with those friends, I felt like I belonged. I felt like I had a group that had my back no matter what and they were literally right behind me. It’s much harder to feel that sense of belonging and much harder to stay strong when the support system isn’t physically there.
Luckily, we do get together at least once a year. And those days and moments are beyond compare. We transport ourselves back seven years. Back to our same antics like it was yesterday. Back to us.
Our day-to-day friendship will never be the same as it was back then. Fortunately for me, the friends always will be. The people who have been through the best and worst times with me, will never change. They will always be there. Even if it is from hundreds of miles away. So if you are reading this, and you are currently experiencing life with your best friends right next to you, hold on tight to these moments. They are gone far too fast and the memories can never quite do justice to how incredible they really are. If you are reading this and feeling the same way as I am, plan the reunions or the trips together. Get everyone in on a google hangout. Share memories and hope for more to come. Say thank you to those people who shaped how you wish friendship could always be.
“After all, things change, so do cities, people come into your life and they go. But it’s comforting to know that the ones you love are always in your heart… and if you’re very lucky, a plane ride away” Sex And The City