My friends play a huge role in my life. They are my sounding board for big and small decisions, my shoulders to lean on when life becomes unbearable and my personal entourage when dancing appears to be the only solution. Over the years, they have become my family and for that, I will be forever grateful.
I am a firm believer that any relationship shouldn’t be difficult. It should not cause you stress or panic when making plans. Once you all are together, conversation should flow naturally and everyone should feel comfortable. This is how I’ve always felt about relationships, especially friendships. In my mind, friends are there to relieve stress, not create it. However, within the last few months, everything has changed.
Graduating college and moving back to New Jersey has singlehandedly changed most of my college friendships. I went from seeing these girls most everyday, having to walk only a few blocks to find them. Now, my best college friends are in Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and California, among other places. They are no longer a quick walk away and I can’t just run down the stairs for a hug when necessary. That being said, my hometown friends are just minutes around the corner so presumably, it would be easier to see them. Well, one has moved closer to her job and another is in graduate school. Our schedules just don’t coincide the way they did during careless summer breaks. So what are we supposed to do now?!
We go the distance. We make sacrifices for the people we care about. Thank goodness for FaceTime, Gmail chats and GroupMe conversations. I don’t know how people survived in separate parts of the country without technology. I think all of us have received a wake-up call, realizing making our friendships last will take a little more effort than in the past. This has caused some additional stress in that finding the time to check in, visit and coordinate schedules isn’t easy. As I searched Amtrak and Megabus yesterday for reasonable and timely trips to D.C., I could have easily pulled my hair out. Instead, I thought about why I was going to D.C. and how many times Niki (and Mike) trekked to Philadelphia or New Jersey to see me. It made the process worth it.
My friends and I have struggled with the changes growing up has brought us. We each now have different responsibilities that consume a good majority of our time. Despite jobs, graduate school, wedding planning and volunteer work, we have managed to keep our friendships going. Calls, text messages, tweets, emails and gchats have all contributed to our success. Technology has played a huge part in keeping us in touch and I am very thankful for its evolution.
Most importantly, nothing has truly changed. Being together still brings its share of laughable moments and thought-provoking conversations. No matter how long we’ve been apart, things seem to fall right back into place like we’ve never left one another’s side. I am blessed with the greatest friends in the world and know our friendships will continue well into the future, thanks to our ability to go the distance.