Growing up, I had a number of different people I called my best friend. Sometimes it was just one person, sometimes it was a few simultaneously. The common theme? I was never their best friend in return, which meant I always felt underappreciated by someone whose friendship was invaluable to me. Then when I got to college, I learned the true definition of best friendship when I met my current best friend (let’s call her Sally for convenience/privacy) on the last night of sorority recruitment our freshmen year.
Sally and I had a free period between recruitment parties and so despite the fact that we might never see each other again, the two of us took a leap of random boredom and got ice cream together. She was the most interesting person I’d met in four nights of Sorority-oriented girl flirting and to this day I know that she’s a big part of why I loved my college experience as much as I did.
The next day we were lucky enough to receive bids for the same sorority and we’ve been friends ever since. It was a weird circumstantial insta-friendship that almost never happens, but is beautiful when it does, and I wouldn’t change it for a minute. Most of my sorority memories involve her in some way if not most of my general college memories, too.
We lived a floor apart our sophomore year, a block apart our junior year (I went abroad and screwed up the living arrangements) and finally shared a room our senior year. Now Sally and I live 250 miles apart with very little chance of moving towards one another in the next half decade. Our friendship is long-distance and likely to remain that way for the foreseeable future.
A best friend is the person you most want to call when something good happens. They’re also the first person you think of when you’re feeling down or bored or lonely. Being long-distance best friends is no different. It just means that I send Sally more ugly Snapchats than I send anyone else, that we schedule skype dates instead of happy hours, and that we try and plan long-weekend trips to visit one another.
But I’d be lying if I said it was easy to be apart, to not be able to share my daily experiences with my best friend. I don’t text her every minute of every day and there are sometimes when we go a few days without substantial conversation between us (be it by phone, skype or email), but it’s never for lack of wanting to talk to or be around each other. Because of the distance I miss out on Sally’s day to day life, miss out on birthday celebrations and late night Jonathan Rhys Myers movie marathons. And it sucks knowing that there’s nothing I can do to change that. College is wonderful in that it brings people together from all over the world, but graduation is an extraordinarily effective means of separation, too.
Going through everything that I am right now – first job, first dates, first concerts, whatever – I really wish that Sally was here with me. And I know that I’m missed where she is, too. It kills me a little that I can’t be there for her, that I can’t 100% be the best friend that she needs me to be. But I also firmly believe that she and I will live close to one another again. Some friendships fade with time, but I’m confident that ours won’t be one of them.
And I’m writing all of this today in honor of the fact that tomorrow I get to see Sally for the first time in seven months and I’m inexplicably excited about it. It’s been too long.