When I think of long-distance relationships, the connotation is not necessarily a good one. I think of the loneliness of being apart, the hassle of figuring out how to get together, phone calls instead of face-to-face interaction and the slow deterioration of closeness. However, when I think about long-distance friendships, and my girlfriends in particular, these implications do not hold true. Not in the least. For many years now, since High School graduation almost 12 years ago (oh my god), I have been maintaining a couple of long-distance friendships that have proven to be lasting, fruitful, honest, ever-evolving, and absolutely necessary.
Most high school friendships run their course. As we embark on new journeys like college, career and family, new people come into our lives that are more like us, and as the people that we used to know make differing decisions from our own, we lose track of them with no ill-will but just because that is what life does. There are also those relationships that stick around; that linger and grow deeper. Some connections that are made, even in high school, can be strong enough to remain attached through life’s twists, turns, highs and lows. For those of us lucky enough to experience these relationships, they can be a lifeline, a sounding board and a welcome return home when times get rocky.
When I met Megan and Heather, I was an insecure, bossy, 14 year old, with too long of hair, too much attitude, a complete inability to look outside myself and an enormous amount of daddy issues. For some reason they liked me. They liked me before I gained confidence, perspective and a fabulous sister-in-law to cut my hair. That was nothing short of a miracle. They were there through first heartbreaks and first drunken nights. They slept over at my house, and snuck out of it with me. They defended me without question, and plotted our escape from mediocrity to The Hamptons or a cruise ship. They pushed me to be better because they already saw me that way.
In the time since moving out of our parents homes, or back in if you are me, we have called on each other repeatedly and no matter our current situation or location we have managed to be there. We have supported each other through more bad breakups than I could even count, college transfers, moves out of the country, engagements, and the deaths of loved ones. When I found out I was pregnant with Eliza, both of them were ecstatic. I received “mommy-to-be” gifts in the mail along with heartfelt encouragement when I needed it most. They both told me how amazing of a mother I was going to be and because it came from them, the ones that have known me at my worst, I could comfortably believe that it must be true. Blind support and love has been given freely to and from these friends and I am forever indebted to my relationships with them.
I think the reason that we have managed to maintain these relationships over the years is simply because we know each other. We know each other’s families, our history and all of the failures and triumphs along the way that made us each into the unique, passionate and fabulous women that we are today. We don’t have to ask for any backstory or explanation because it is so entrenched in our memories. When I call or text one of them, there is no figuring out what we mean, there are no hidden motives or even niceties. We can completely pick up where we left off weeks or months ago, as if no time has passed at all and with a really juicy story to tell.
I am so thankful for the friends that I see on a daily basis and the women that I have met in the last decade that have embraced me. We have created a special connection that I revere greatly. There is just something about those girls that I met all of those years ago that feels like home. We are so different. We live in different places, we are at different life phases, we have differing beliefs when it comes to many things but that is what makes the relationships so strong and unique. They are my guidepost to what is going on outside of my bubble. They are my reminder of my spirit and my unique person. They are my strength and my honest opinions. They are fantastic women who I love dearly and who I will continue to keep rooting for, supporting, calling, face-timing and looking forward to rendezvousing with for years to come. So to all of the long-distance girlfriends out there, love each other fiercely, value each other endlessly and have a drink and a laugh together for us! Cheers ladies! MEB