Hey there to all!
Today is a sad day. I’ve had it marked on my calendar for nearly two months. July 28th.
My best friend is moving away. To Chicago.
Abby (yes, we have the same name) and I have been best friends since I was in 7th grade. So we’re somewhere between 12-15 years of best friendship. (we can’t pin down the exact moment that we met).
Abby has always always always been here. She’s never missed a birthday. Or Christmas. Or a show. We’ve only ever had one fight. We have traveled together, been through several boyfriends together, collectively 4 different colleges (we both transferred), middle school, high school, theatre, and just generally life. I’m tearing up right now thinking about it.
As we get older, it’s important to remember that life is going to re-locate your friends. Whether it’s careers, life, family, romantic partners, or other opportunity – people move away. It’s particularly rough right after college.
Abby has been my best friend forever. We’ve gone to the beach to try to pick up boys (while we both still had braces), made a Barbie superlative yearbook, done 5 fashions shows, were in 9 different school shows together (Fidddddler!), I’ve spent Christmas day at her house almost every year since middle school, were lab partners and dissected a cat together, and traveled all over the place. I’ve always had her by my side, one day she’ll be my maid of honor, and for now she’s the best friend I could ever have. She came to all 4 years that I was in the Vagina Monologues and if that’s not love, what is?
So, here’s my tips on what to do when your best friends move away. I’m writing this on Wednesday night because Thursday night…I’ll be incapable of typing through my tears. It’s honestly like part of my soul is moving 3,000 miles away.
Please enjoy these ideas littered with pictures of me and my best friend, Abby, throughout the last decade or so. Don’t mind our puberty…it was awkward for everyone involved.
1.) Set aside time to talk.
My friend Cathy, who also moved away, and I talk on the phone on Thursday evenings. We may miss some or have to reschedule to a weird time of day, but she moved away after high school. We see each other only 2-3 times a year, but we talk so often it definitely has kept our friendship strong and healthy.
2.) Pick a tradition to keep going.
Abby and I are VERY excited for the Gilmore Girls revival. We said that we would have a Skype session when it premiered and ‘watch them’ together. Even long distance, these bitches will be talking about how old Luke looks, how sad it is that Emily is a widow, and Rory being a grown up. If you can find a tradition (karaoke night, watching a fave TV show, or a fave bar or restaurant) – make sure you try to do it when they are home for a visit!
3.) Try out a few methods of communication.
My friend, Cathy, is not a cell phone person. She’s not big on social media or texting – so it’s definitely easier for us to have phone calls. Abby is GREAT at texting – so we’ll probably text/FaceTime. Preston’s sister, Mabel, who is also a dear friend of mine (and in California) – is a great Skype buddy. Snapchat? Facebook messenger? Letters? Phone? Figure out what works best for BOTH of your schedules.
4.) Don’t forget the big stuff.
Just because they aren’t three blocks away doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t fill them in on the major stuff in your life. Anything from job interviews, break ups, new boyfriends, new jobs, moving, a new sex move you tried, etc. are all things worth sharing. It’s easy to forget when you don’t see each other every other day.
5.) Also don’t forget THEIR big stuff.
Be a thoughtful friend. Text and ask how the first day went or get the deets of a big date. Remember to send birthday/anniversary/holiday messages. Offer congrats on new opportunities, if their pet is sick, etc. Be a little more thoughtful!
6.) Visit. Visit. Visit.
Visit as often as you can! If you’re moving away – make sure you visit for holidays and big events if you can! (or even some small stuff, like a play or a party). Make sure that you make a little time to visit. It’s totally different to be able to talk and see their face and hug them. It will make every moment together even MORE special.
7.) Remember why you were friends in the first place.
It probably wasn’t JUST proximity. If they are a great listener….continue to talk to them about life. If they have the same interest – make sure that you talk to them about it. (Like, I’ll still tell Abby about Gilmore Girls, theatre, and boyfriend stuff). If you play the same video game, like the same blogs, movies, fan-dom…make sure that you geek out with your friend! It’ll make you feel like you never left!
8.) Don’t forget to ask their opinion!
If it’s a friend that would sit outside the dressing room for the classic ‘what do you think?’ or you drag them to Target for a second opinion – make sure you still send them pictures. Their opinion is still your valued right hand man!
9.) Mourn a little.
It’s okay to cry. Yes, they’re just moving away….but pretty much after that day your friendship will change. Proximity definitely makes friendship easier and yours is about to change drastically. It’s okay to mourn the loss of the way your friendship is now.
10.) But celebrate.
Celebrate your friendship. And everything that made it special. Now you have a new place to visit, new traditions to start, holidays to send Amazon packages for, and a whole new adventure to talk about. Celebrate why you’re friends and the amazing friendship you have.
All I can say is be good to her, Chicago. Be kind. Let her find new friends and hobbies and a favorite bar and that she loves grad school and never has to worry about traveling alone. She’s been by my side through every up and down and life transition and party and show and everything in my life.
Is anyone here from Chicago and could comment some ‘must hit spots’ for a new local?
So here’s the “end of blog” spiel!
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Question of the Day: How did you deal with a close friend or family member move away?
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My next few blog ideas: Do you want to see my new house stock pile? Transitioning your outfits from winter to summer. Maybe one about those ten pieces that make up a wardrobe. But I’m not sure. I want to know what you are interested in hearing about? My Top 10 Embarrassing Stories? 20 Facts from Your Blogger? A team up with another blogger? Haul? A show off of my Barbie lot? Want me to style you? Let me know!
Love all you wonderful ladies (and gents!) out there!