|Cue Vitamin C’s “Graduation.”|
I stood in my best friend’s dorm room, choking back tears as it emptied little by little. The futon I’d spent hours venting on? Gone. The pictures I’d looked at every time I visited? Packed away. The desk supplies I’d asked to borrow countless times because I was missing my own? Stored in a long bin, ready for the ride back home.
Sure, watching him pack up the room that had two years of memories was hard. But it was actually saying goodbye that hurt the most. He reassured me that we’d stay in touch and promised he’d come visit. “It’ll be like we’re spending a long summer apart,” he said. Yeah, five months too long.
He thanked me for being a good friend and even when he begged me stop crying, I couldn’t seem to bring the bawling to a halt. I was a complete chick about it. Who could blame me, though? It wasn’t just a matter of saying goodbye, it was a matter of bidding him adieu and not knowing when I’d see him next.
It’s times like these – times when you have to part with someone who’s a part of you – that you have to thank the technology gods for the wonderful things they’ve graced us with. Staying in touch is becoming increasingly easier but first, you have to:
1. Accept. The hardest part for me was swallowing the “you’re moving on” pill. Life happens and unfortunately, the people we want in our lives don’t always stay. We have to be grateful for the memories we’ve made and move forward knowing that even though things are changing, your friends are happy with the directions their lives are heading in. And you have to be happy for them.
2. Call. Texting is convenient, yes, but when you’re hundreds of miles away and new things are happening each day, there just isn’t enough text space. You know that little green talk button on your cell? Use it! An hour-long conversation will leave you feeling like your friend never left.
3. Text. Now let’s back-track for a second. Calling is great when you’ve got tons to catch up on. But when you see something funny, or a commercial comes on and you’re instantly reminded of them, tell them so! One of the difficulties that comes with distance is the notion that someone is being forgotten. Let them know they’re on your mind when they are. There’s really no need to hold back.
4. Skype. You can call and text your friend as much as you want, but it’ll never replace the feeling of seeing their face. Set aside a time that works for the both of you and Skype once a week if you can. Besides, who knows if your haircut looks good better than your best friend?
While technology is great, it won’t ever measure up to actually being with your friend in person. You don’t have their hugs when you need them, their touch when you’re seeking reassurance, or their outrageousness when you need to get out and just let loose. So the last thing you need to do is visit. If they’re down the road, great, meet up for lunch every once in a while! But if they’re across the country, plan a summer vacation or spring break getaway.
It’s never the right time to say goodbye, but if you take advantage of the many possibilities, you never have to.
♥AUTHOR: CHELSEA TIRRELL