For as long as I can remember, I have been the friend that loses touch with people. I’m the worst at texting back. I’m the worst at remembering to call. I’m the best at flaking. I’m the best at rescheduling only to flake once more. I can’t say for sure why I am like this, it just happens. I say I’ll call and text and write letters and send cards, but in reality, I tend to forget to do all these things and suddenly it is months, even years later, and I’m wondering what that person is up to.
A couple of years ago, all the friends that I had that lived by me, suddenly weren’t coming back home from college in the summer. They were finding jobs in this new town away from me and I never realized how alone I started to feel when I couldn’t call someone to see if they wanted to meet up for coffee, lunch, dinner, or go shopping on a random Tuesday afternoon.
This was the start of me needing to start to reach out to people so we could stay in each other’s lives. I didn’t realize how much work goes into a friendship if you want that friendship to stay. I realized how selfish I was for constantly flaking (which I still happen to do, but I’m working on it!) and that I would actually have to start texting people first if I wanted to talk to them.
When I lived in London for a short period of time, I met some wonderful, amazing people. People that lived all over the world and when we parted ways, communication still needed to exist if I wanted to still be apart of their lives.
Long distance friendship. It’s a bitch. Some days you can go all day without talking and fear that you’re drifting apart and write a long email at 3 in the morning, crying about how you don’t want to lose their friendship. What are they doing? Why haven’t you talked in two days? Is something wrong? Some days you just want to call them up and complain about something that is happening in your life, but there is a time zone difference and they are three or six or twelve hours ahead of you and there is no possible way that you can talk at the exact moment you want to. Some days you just want to lay in bed and watch About Time with them, eating popcorn and Phish Food Ben and Jerry’s ice cream complaining about everything, yet they are in Ohio and you are in Missouri.
The best thing, possibly the only thing, I have learned about making these types of friendships work is constant communication. Reaching out to them through Facebook posts, text messages, e-mails, snail mail, Skype, Facetime, Instagram, and smoke signals. Anything to show that you are still in each other’s lives. It helps. The friendship is maintained.
My best friend visited me last summer for a week and this summer it is my turn to visit her. Long distance friendship is great. You get to visit new places and no matter how long you are apart, it’s good to know that you’re still the best of friends.