My college girlfriends were inseparable. Not always inseparable as a whole group, but we all had deep one-on-one bonds with a couple of the other girls in our group. I’m grateful that those friendships have actually grown deeper, stronger, and more steadfast with time, and I’m also a little bit surprised by this since the six of us live in six different states: Illinois, Michigan, Virginia, Colorado, California, and Washington. For a while, many of us lived in different countries. The struggle to stay connected is real.
I think part of the reason we’ve all stayed so close is because of our shared history. Even in the weeks and months when we don’t chat as often as we’d like, when the texts and calls and emails are scarce, it doesn’t feel like we’re losing ground. We unspokenly give one another the benefit of the doubt, trusting that it’s a crazy busy moment for that person, knowing she’d love to catch up right now if it were possible. We know one another’s hearts, motivations, and intentions so well after almost a decade of friendship that explanations are rarely necessary.
Technology and social media changes have allowed us to stay in touch, and for that, I’m so thankful. Our near-daily group texts make me feel like I’m living life right along with these women. Hearing their voices in phone calls across time zones, even just for five or ten minutes, lifts me for days. A thoughtful email or blog comment from one of these ladies lights me up.
But there are some holes that technology just can’t fill. There are tender spots in my heart that are longing for the closeness that comes only with physical proximity. I long for the normalcy of doing life together.
I wish I could stop by Erin’s house on my way home from work and kiss her darling girls. She’d shout “Come in!” from her kitchen and then immediately make me try whatever homemade bread or yogurt or butter she’d just whipped up. Or we’d meet at the farmer’s market on a Saturday morning and sample all the oils and cheeses, filling our bags with heaps of produce. Then we’d ruin the healthiness with a stop for ice cream before we headed to our own homes.
I’d love to swing by Rachel’s boutique on my lunch hour to pick up a gift for the baby shower I have this weekend. Her face would light up as it always does when she sees a loved one, and she’d point to exactly the right item that just came in this week. She’d talk a mile a minute about what happened yesterday, and she’d rapid-fire a ton of questions at me about how I’m feeling and what I’m writing and why I seem off. She always knows when I’m off.
I want to grab dinner with Randi at the quirky taco place down the street, drinking margaritas and gorging on chips. (This may have happened once before.) She’d tell me about the new podcast I just have to listen to, the new ethical clothing company I need to check out, and the inspiring article she just read. She’d ask how I’m really doing and where I’m finding my inspiration lately.
I wish I could stop by the hospital with some coffee for Aylin while she’s working a long shift. I want to laugh uncontrollably with Jess over how awkward we are.
I long for just five minutes of face time with my friends. Time that isn’t spent only catching up on the last few weeks, but a few minutes about how today was. I want to join my friends in their everyday lives, quick pop-ins here and there to say hi, I love you, see you tomorrow.
I’m sure I’m romanticizing this to some extent, because even if you live ten minutes away from someone, in the busyness of a normal day it can be so hard to just find the time to stop by after work. But a girl can dream about what life would be like living on the same cul-de-sac with her girlfriends.
So I content myself with group texts and emails and one-off phone calls. I try to ask the real, deep, hard questions when we do have a chance to chat so that we’re always growing together. I pray for my friends and what’s going on in their families’ lives. I’m not the best at following up. I’m not always good at responding right away. But these girls are always on my mind, and I want them to know that. I know there are a million things I could do better as a long-distance friend to these women, but I’m so grateful for the commitment we demonstrate to our little circle and for the ways we can show love from far away.
As we come up on a decade of friendship, I’m more certain than ever that these women are my people, forever and ever. No amount of time, distance, or busyness can pull apart the seams of how God has knitted our lives together over the past ten years, and I can’t wait to see what ten more years will bring to our individual lives and to our bonds with one another.We long for the mundane when our #girlfriends live far away. #friendship Click To Tweet