Commuter Life: Lifelong friendships and making it through the unavoidable

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Growing up never seemed like it would be difficult. There was always the soccer games we never took too seriously and bike riding until dusk without the slightest care what time we had to be home for dinner. Those were the best times of our lives. There was nothing we needed to worry about, and we didn’t even realize it.

High school was a little tougher but having that one person by my side made all the late-night studying that much easier. The four years flew by. That chapter of my life, now shelved in my memory.

Graduating high school and what came after seemed like the biggest hill to climb. I couldn’t have been more wrong. My close friend went to a great college, lived in a dorm and had the traditional college experience. I, on the other hand, commuted from home and transferred from a county college.

She came home often and everything seemed to stay the same between us. We had the horror movie marathons along with the philosophical conversations over Moe’s burritos. Our friendship was the same as before and it felt like normal.

Fast forward to today, I’ll be graduating and moving on to a full-time career, while she is studying abroad on the other side of the globe. The eight-hour time difference is obviously not convenient, especially when we’re both living our lives and filling our time with as many activities that we can. Half of my day goes by and she’s already asleep.

It’s like that episode of Grey’s Anatomy when Cristina leaves for another country and Meredith stays behind. I’m beginning to notice that the more life gets serious, the more we need to be carefree. It’s easy to get caught up in a pattern or get distracted by the chaos. Maybe we need to dance it out.

Keeping an elementary school friendship when both people are experiencing separate things and conforming to specific situations isn’t easy. We are just two people with different minds, similar taste and opposite paths. And that’s definitely not a bad thing.

I can only imagine that most friendships come to a certain point where things change. People grow, especially at this age. It’s when we’re trying to figure out who we are and who we want to be and where we fit in. We are both grasping onto the lifelong friendship we created and trying to make it work halfway across the world.

So much talk about breakups and heartache, but what about the lifelong friend that’s just moving at a different speed on a different road than you?

The best way to let friendship grow is to let things happen and let life unfold. We’re not riding bikes and playing hopscotch anymore. We’re learning new things and trying to find the time to reconnect. I know one day we’ll level out the speed and meet up on the same road.

Until then, we’ll still be figuring life out.

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