The Long Distance Friendship

Good friends are like stars.  You don’t always see them, but you know they’re always there. – Anon

Growing up, I had friends; not a lot, but enough that I was happy.  I was never what you would call the/a popular girl although I was, at one point in my life, part of the “popular group” in school.  It lasted for about two years, during my 8th and 9th grades, until I realized that I wasn’t cut out for that kind of life – the gossiping, the backstabbing, the paranoia I felt every time I left a group of girls worrying that the minute my back was turned, they were talking about me (not that I was doing anything for them to talk about!).  I don’t know exactly how it happened, but I slowly gravitated back to the girls who had accepted me as is before my foray into the popular society, and was once again a happy camper.  We weren’t popular, no, and we didn’t get all the looks from all the boys in school, no one started food fights with us just to get our attention; we hung out in our own little group, talking, laughing, doing high school girl things, building friendships that saw us through the rest of our high school years .

We all finished high school at different times and as happens (although when you’re young, you never think it will ever happen), we all drifted away.  Growing up in a small town like we did, the options for life advancement are minimal and most people tend to leave and pursue their academic dreams elsewhere.  I was not one of those people, at least not right away.  I chose to go to hairdressing school much to the horror of my parents – they wanted me to go to university, or at least college, but I was never much of a student so a miracle would have had to occur for me to be admitted into college.  And, quite frankly, as I said, I wasn’t much of a student, and I didn’t want to go on to college.  Anyway, I’m digressing from the point here.

So a couple of years after I finished high school –  after hairdressing school, struggling to get work, a move to another city eight hours from home, more schooling – I wound up moving back to my hometown, and wound up back in touch with an old friend from high school.  We quickly picked up where we had left off and over the ensuing years we have become dear friends.  I consider her one of my best friends, a lifelong friend.

Now here’s the thing: we no longer live in the same city as each other and talk quite infrequently and yet, whenever I have needed a shoulder or a laugh or just a friend, she has been one of the few people I know I can count on, and I hope the same is true for her.  Often it will be (insert shame-faced look here) months between calls – we text and email but those just aren’t the same – but an actual phone call?  Sadly, they aren’t often enough.  I know it’s been too long when my Mom asks if I’ve spoken to her lately, and I have to admit that I haven’t; then I have to rack my brain trying to remember when I spoke with her last.

Good friends are like stars. You don’t always see them, but you know they’re always there.

Friendships, especially long distance friendships, require effort and a little work, especially when we’re older; we all know this.  When we were younger, we had a lot more time at our disposal, and we spent considerable amounts of time with our friends. In our teens, let’s face it, our friends became like our families (because I mean, you know, our own families are just, like, so embarrassing).  But then we start getting older and we take on more responsibilities, and oh-so-sadly our friendships start moving down our lists of priorities on a day-to-day basis.  I am in no way saying that my friends aren’t important to me.  I would drop everything and anything for a friend.  What I’m saying is that, even with every good intention, life just rushes by leaving little time; before you know it, months have gone by when you realize that you haven’t spoken to the person you think of as a sister.

One of the issues with a long-distance friendship is that I have never gotten on the phone and had a brief, 20 minute phone call.  I literally schedule in phone calls with them, and they with me, because we know that once we get on the phone, we can count on being there for an hour, minimum.  And that’s a short call.

When I get off the phone with a long-distance friend, I feel happy and warm and fuzzy, you know, all those good things.  And every time I get off the phone, I make the promise to myself to make a greater effort to call them more often and to try to see them more.   But you know what, these friends of mine aren’t complaining about the way things are, and neither am I.  We are doing what works and that’s good enough.  We make sure to stay in touch, to catch up, to laugh and to build our friendships.  Sure, the guilt creeps in every once in a while, but no matter what, we’re there for each other and we know that.  And that is all that really matters.



14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. matchboxthinking
    Aug 18, 2012 @ 02:28:14

    Great post! I feel that what you write is even more pertinent now than ever with the advent of social media! People think they are keeping in touch by leaving messages and what not whereas in actuality, nothing really says “I value our friendship” more than a simple phone call or a few minutes of catching up over a cup of coffee.


    • Simply Om
      Aug 18, 2012 @ 02:50:08

      Thank you so much! I completely agree with you on that; texting and/or emailing is never the same thing as speaking with someone. We’ve become such an impersonal society and even though it might be easier it’s certainly not better!


  2. awindowofwisdom
    Aug 18, 2012 @ 02:49:32

    Great post, I had a friend from when I was 11 years old and I moved away at age 12 we wrote letters and kind of fell of the planet but found each other on facebook and what was really neat was that she popped in my thoughts and the same day she was looking at a photo of us and then I messaged her! Our friendship is reconnected. Blessings.


    • Simply Om
      Aug 18, 2012 @ 11:59:14

      Thank you! That’s awesome, you know the world works in very mysterious ways and things like this proves it. It’s always great to meet up with old friends that you haven’t seen a long time and discovering that the friendship connection is still alive.


  3. desireeevans333
    Aug 18, 2012 @ 07:55:54

    It’s 3:51 am, and as usual I was up working on my new blog, and decided to check out other blogs. Well to my surprise, I spotted yours. Sounds a lot like me in high school. Check out my new blog. Yours is very inspiring. Great reading. You are blessed to have not only a best friend, but your Mom there for you. Check out my blog, and see what I mean. I hope to inspire others the way you are doing.


    • Simply Om
      Aug 18, 2012 @ 12:00:41

      Thank you so much – very kind! And you’re right, I am incredibly blessed to have such wonderful people in my life. I will definitely check out your blog!! Good luck and thank you again.


      • desireeevans333
        Aug 18, 2012 @ 17:26:59

        I just loved reading what you had written from your heart. Continue doing what you are doing. I haven’t heard from my baby daughter whom I love dearly in over a year. She keeps moving, and does not want to talk to me. Although I raised her as a single mom (didn’t get any help from her dad ), I became the bad guy in the whole scheme of things in her mind. Go figure. I had no Mom to help me because my Mom died when I was only 16 years old. I suppose I tried to do everything my Mom was not there to do for me, and it just backfired on me. I’ll be ok though, because I have the Lord in my life. Also because there are wonderful people like you out there willing to share their lives with the rest of humanity.

  4. sameetah
    Aug 18, 2012 @ 08:07:23

    Yes i am also agree with you guys 🙂


  5. Wildcat & Sundevil Unite
    Sep 09, 2012 @ 04:58:55

    This really made me think about my friendship with my high school buddies. I just recently started college and everything that you just said, such as the distance and not talking to them daily has begun. At times, I find this distance kind of sad for it is difficult to arrange times to talk to your friends. It is not as difficult for me, but more for them, for whenever I talk with them on Facebook or whenever I ask them if they have time to talk on the phone they always say the same thing, that they’re stressed, that they have lots of homework and that they never have time. It’s kind of sad to not have that friend whom you always saw everyday and talked to.


    • Simply Om
      Sep 09, 2012 @ 11:08:14

      First, thanks for reading! And you’re so right about it being sad – growing up and moving on is never easy but it’s part of the bigger plan. What’s even more sad is when the friendships start to fall away – it’s inevitable. But…you will find that you begin to make new friendships, adult friendships and they will be just as sweet!


  6. Jamaiquina
    Sep 15, 2012 @ 15:25:18

    I love to stay in touch with those friends who are now separated from me by distance. It keeps me feeling vital, to know I have some part in their memories, no matter how small, a part I can keep updated and refreshed when we talk. A lovely blog, this!


    • Simply Om
      Sep 15, 2012 @ 16:04:19

      I totally agree – like I said, I always feel good after speaking with them, knowing that no matter how far apart we are, we’re still apart of each other’s lives. So nice. And… thank you so much! For the compliment and for reading 🙂


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