I have been back home in San Diego from my vacation in Florida for less than 24 hours and I am going to be honest–it’s been a sad time. While flying across the country, I thought of my to-do list, some of which included my Wine and Dine Half Marathon and vacation recap, but those will have to be put on hold as I dig into something deeper.
After my best friend Lacey and I finished our undergraduate education at the University of San Diego, she jetted off to the other end of the country to Gainesville, Florida, for a graduate school program. Ever since we graduated, I have missed her constantly and our reunions are few and far between, though when they happen, I savor every moment.
I’m back in San Diego now and after spending five days in Florida baking, cooking, drinking coffee, running, and sitting in the car with Lacey, my texts to her since our separation have been constant. Yesterday, after landing, I texted her that there should be tips on how to cope when your best friend lives far, far away. Lacey, being the genius that she is, said I should write about it. So here I am.
But I’ll say it simply: being away from your best friend sucks.
So how do we deal? Actually … I have no idea. But this is how Lacey and I cope (or plan on coping):
Connect often. Sometimes you may not feel so far away from your best friend if you text often. Whatever is going on throughout the day, funny instances you have encountered, whatever. Text in the morning and before bed, so it is almost as if you’re living together to say good night and good morning ;)
Get Snapchat. Who doesn’t love getting a good selfie from your best friend? If you’re not best friends on Snapchat then you’re not best friends in real life. Only kidding.
But step away from iMessage and talk on the phone/Skype. While it can be difficult to find time to connect real time and hear the other person’s voice (especially with a time difference), it is important to schedule hangouts just as you would with a friend in the same city. So often, text messages, Facebook, and other forms of social media replace live conversation. Don’t forget to hear your best friend’s voice and see their face! But according to Lacey, if you’re dealing with a time difference, get used to the awkward hours (“AKA staying and waking up at weird times”).
Utilize snail mail. While snail mail is just that–slow–there is something special about receiving something tangible from your friend. During my last week at EY, Lacey sent me a box of Sprinkles Cupcakes to congratulate me. It was as if she was right there with me.
Buy each other friendship goodies. Poor Lacey has gotten a good number of friendship rings and bracelets since our separation, but every time I wear them, I’m reminded of her and it’s as if a part of her is with me.
Schedule a virtual date. Okay, so maybe Lace and I have only done this once during March Madness where we watched a game while sitting on Skype together. Hey. It worked :) But your favorite shows? Wait to watch them at the same time! Chat about them constantly! Watch a movie together!
Decorate your living space with pictures galore. Lacey thought of this one. I’m not very good at decorating my room, but when I went to visit, Lacey had frames and photos all over her apartment. Use these pictures as constant reminders of your friendship.
Plan a getaway. I’ll admit, I count down the number of months/weeks/days until Lacey and I are reunited again. But how would you be able to do that if you don’t make plans?! Plan a vacation together or go visit each other. Knowing that there is some event in the future when you can spend time together definitely helps.
After each time Lacey and I are separated yet again, I remind myself of the following quote, and it gives me comfort.
Don’t be upset that you’re apart, but rejoice because you are blessed enough to have an amazing friend.
How do you cope when your best friend lives far away?