I live between two of my absolute best friends -- one 3000 miles to the west, the other on the other side of the Atlantic. While this set-up pretty normal for this stage in life, no one really braces you for it. Post-grad, more often than not, you will be transported somewhere new depending on your career goals, and that likely will not the same place as your besties.
Whether growing up in your hometown or as a student in college, it's easy to take for granted the proximity of your best friends. With this in mind, it's difficult to really judge the level of a friendship until you are forced to weather the waters of long distance. It's not easy. It takes work. It takes phone calls and FaceTimes across time zones (often planning days in advance to make sure you're not asleep or your friend is not still at the office). It takes actively planning trips to visit one another, or my personal fave, planning destination trips where you meet up in a completely separate locale for a girls trip. Either way, chances are, long distance friendships require a relatively high level of investment, whether that's time, energy, or even your finances. But it's worth it.
I've spent the past year living on the East Coast with one best friend in California, and the other in London. Are we any less close? Nope. In fact, it makes us cherish the time we do spend together that much more. I can guarantee that we value the limited time we have on a long weekender a hell of a lot more than we did hungover on the couch as roommates in college. We value a dinner with their family much more than a birthday party in high school. We value each other more, knowing we are putting in a concerted effort to maintain and nourish a friendship beyond the fair-weather friends you may have in your day-to-day life. These are the friendships that have stood the test of time through family drama, career anxiety, bad boyfriends and even our lowest points of hanger (when you really know who your friends are), and the friendship has lived to see another day. That is incredibly special.
At the heart of it, however, lies the most valuable quality of a long distance friendship--reciprocity. You both must contribute to the friendship to keep it thriving and that's what makes it remarkable. You both are choosing to invest in a friendship that is meaningful to you, because the alternative is unthinkable.
So, to my best friends, thank you. While I may miss our "Bloody Mary Fridays" or our pre-employment summer pool lounging, I am so grateful that we are no less close living thousands of miles apart. Ladies (you know who you are), I love you and I thank you for making my life incredible everyday.
Whether we're sharing a bedroom or living in separate countries, I can't imagine a world without you.