When we were kids we connected friendship and physical proximity so closely. If you lived on my street or if we were assigned to the same elementary school class or bus, we were probably friends. If someone moved away, you would likely lose touch (unless you were an epic pen pal).
Since choosing a college about 2.5 hours away from home, I’ve moved a lot and collected a lot of roommates, colleagues, and neighbors from different places and times in life. I am so grateful for the relationships we’ve developed and even how they may have changed over time.
As my life has shifted and my family has grown, my gratitude for friendships that have withstood the test of time and distance has grown immensely. I recognize how much effort it takes to prioritize staying connected AND how much grace it takes to understand how much everyone is juggling.
A love note to my long-distance friends:
Thank you for continuing our relationship, even if it’s mostly through sharing gifs or memes or tagging each other in social media content we know the other will enjoy.
Thank you for understanding my three-day — or three-week — delay in responding to texts.
Thank you for calling at random times hoping you might catch me. Or for scheduling a phone date weeks in advance.
Thank you for suggesting lunchtime walk and talks so we can squeeze in a catch up and some exercise in the middle of the workday.
Thank you for sending birthday cards, regardless of whether they’re on time. And for pushing me to do the same.
Thanks for spending months (or years) trying to coordinate a weekend gathering that we hope miraculously everyone can attend.
Thank you for telling the same stories over and over again and for allowing me to do the same.
Thank you for being someone I know will celebrate life’s greatest joys and experience life’s deepest sadness with me.
Thank you for calling me out when it’s necessary and for hearing me when I do the same to you.
Thank you for accepting my kids’ annoying Facetime calls.
Thank you for encouraging me to take risks and push myself.
Thank you for sharing old photos you find, no matter how embarrassing.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Thank you for making long drives and taking long flights and for mutual understanding when that is not feasible.
Thank you, my long-distance friends, for being someone I call home, no matter our location.