My Long Distance Best Friend

Long distance relationships are hard. It is even harder when the relationship involves your best friend.

I found my best friend in high school geography class in 2010 and we bonded over traveling to Greece. Over the course of ten years, we changed our dream destinations, went to college together, saw our highs and lows, and became members in each other’s family. She is truly the sister I had always wanted. It is kind of hard to find someone with the same humor and outlook on life. We compare ourselves to the iconic duo from Grey’s Anatomy: Meredith Grey and Christina Yang. And just like in the tv show, one of us moves away.

She joins the U.S. Peace Core and is off to an African country six hours away for two years. Do I have a lot of friends? No. Am I mother hen with my friends? Yes. Do I rely a little too much on my few friendships? Yes. So when she left, I was scared that I would never see her again. My longest friendship, my twisted sister in crime, was leaving. Did I see this coming? Yes and no. I knew she wanted to travel the world, so did I, but the peace core was signing your time away for at least two years in a single place.  Even if I thought I could handle being in the Peace Core, the odds of being placed in the same country as her was very slim. It took a while to breath and soon enough I felt determine to keep her in my life; besides, I know that she would be fine as long as she puts her mind to whatever she does. I saw her off at the airport and kept in contact via Facebook messenger. While she was gone I wasn’t twiddling my thumbs. I got certified to teach English as a foreign language in foreign countries. I got a job, took care of my health (mental and physical), and spent more time on myself. All while staying in touch with her adventures in Africa. Before I knew it, little over a year had passed since she left. And to my surprise she came back to the states to tell us that she was going to quit her two year stint with the Peace Core. Soon we would be together ready to live our best lives in our twenties.

When my friend was in the states we both started looking for jobs that could take us out of the country. She found Korean jobs while my search came up short. So South Korea was the goal. And we were both shooting for the same program within the same area. Unfortunately she got the travel itch to leave sooner than the August program we were originally planning for. August turned into March. And because of the shorten time frame, I had doubts that I would be ready, mentally, to leave. I’m a planner and when (big) plans aren’t followed I can get anxious and doubtful. In the end I chose myself.

Choosing myself instead of going to South Korea in March, I thought was an important moment in my life since I did rely on my friends a lot before. Little did I know that my time maintaining my friendship with her while she was in Africa and now while she was South Korea was in preparation for all the distance relationships that I  and many others were going to have thanks to the pandemic. So now I’m stuck in place just when I started to feel growth in myself and plan my future travel goals.

With the world changing plans for everyone everywhere, I’m sill planning. My best friend is still teaching in South Korea months later, gaining more and more life experiences. She gives me motivation to keep planning my future and my place in the world even miles away. Her success gives me motivation to create my own success. Maybe that was why I was anxious of loosing her in the Peace Core and then when she left for Korea without me. I though she would take my motivation with her. But I realized that I still do things when she isn’t by my side. I was able to think about myself without her. I have some of my greatest memories with her and milage can’t take that away, nor can it take my motivation. That goes for anyone that feels lost with a far away relationship.

Even though you are far away and don’t talk every day, you are still my sister, my best friend. You gave and are still giving me great memories. I’m proud of your worldly success and confidence to get it done. You are my inspiration, motivator, rival, and hero. Thank you for being my best friend. Miles away you have me whenever you need, just like I know I have with you. I love you so much. Stay safe, Kellyann.

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