I have moved seven times in the past ten years. Even reading that sentence back to myself is a shock to the system. Some moves were job-related, some were relationship-related, but all of them have one resounding similarity that always tugs at my heart when I think about it…
All of these moves have involved saying goodbye to some pretty amazing people.
I have never been the kind of person to have tons and tons of friends, but the friends that I do have are incredibly important to me. And that’s what has made it so incredibly difficult to say goodbye to them.
I think back to my college years when spending time with friends was as easy as walking down the hallway or down the street. I took it for granted. But as the years have gone by and life’s responsibilities have grown, so has the amount of distance between us. And as much as Facebook drives me crazy sometimes, it’s also a saving grace because it allows me to catch up on what’s happening in their lives when we don’t have a chance to actually “catch up.”
Today, staying connected seems to be more difficult than college finals.
Life gets busy for everyone. And it seems to get busier the older we get. Working, being a mom, taking care of the house, the day to day tasks, etc… Time slips away and before we know it, another month has gone by. And yes, the great thing about a good friend is that you can go weeks without talking and when you finally do connect, it’s like no time has passed. But the time that has passed, we can never get back.
So often I think of my friends and ask myself, I wonder how she’s doing? Every day I am triggered by memories of at least one of them. I hear a song, see something funny on the street, an old picture pops up on Facebook… And I should just call or send a message, but I don’t always do that.
I want for there to be no doubt in my friends’ minds that they matter to me.
Two of my best friends from college recently visited me and it reminded me of how important it is to maintain friendships as an adult, no matter how much distance separates us. Being an adult is not easy. And although growing a family is hugely fulfilling, friendships are just as important. There is something about a true friend that cannot be found anywhere else in life.
We all need those relationships. The friends who have loved you through the biggest mistakes in your life and have seen you at your worst. The friends who will be brutally honest with you because sometimes that’s what you need to hear. The friends that will just listen, without judgment, when you need to vent.
With every goodbye, I’ve had to put on a brave face and push forward. But the truth is, I miss my friends.
Not only do I miss them; I need them. I guess I just thought that part of being an adult and a mom and a wife meant putting some of your own needs aside. I’ve made some great friends since my most recent move last year, but I find myself putting even those friendships on the back burner when life gets in the way.
I really want to be better about that. I want to stop taking my friendships for granted. I want to make more of an effort to keep in touch and be a part of my friends’ lives, no matter if we live two streets apart or two hours apart.
But if I slip into old habits, I want my friends to know this: I think of you more than you know. I miss you more than you realize. And I love you. So much.