So, I actually wrote this a little over a year ago when it was originally published in Thought Catalog but I recently came back across it (thanks, Facebook Memories!) and it had me feeling all sorts of ways. (I've also had multiple dreams about Cleveland the last few days, so what can I say, #OHIOonmymind.)
There's been an entire other year of missed birthday parties, missed engagement celebrations, missed happy hours and missed girls' night out. But it's also been an entire other year of figuring it out - of FaceTime dates and "meet me in the middle" plans - of finding out how you do friendships as adults in different area codes. I still miss them all every day, but I'm thankful more than ever for my roots back home. They're the only thing that's given us wings to fly. And for that, I'm forever grateful to a group of girls back in the heart of it all.
When my husband and I made the decision to move from Ohio to South Carolina, more than 600 miles away from the comforts of home, we couldn’t have been more excited. We were finally doing it. We were living our dream, taking a chance, starting our lives on our own terms and having the adventure of a lifetime.
We weren’t naïve. With five nieces and nephews under the age of two and a half, parents, grandparents, siblings who felt more like best friends and extended family sitting comfortably within a two-hour drive, we knew it was going to be tough.
We knew we were going to miss birthdays and family dinners, soccer games and ravioli making parties. We knew Apple’s FaceTime was going to replace quality face time. We knew moments would have to be celebrated from afar. And we were okay with all of that.
But no one told me how much it hurts to move away from your girlfriends.
The girls you grew up with, both as kids and adults. The girls you played little league with and survived high school by having them by your side. The girls you took shots with in closets and lied to parents for to save their skin. The girls you cried with leaving for college and grew close to living together. The girls who listened to you complain about your job, cry about your boyfriend and drink wine with you just because. The girls who cheered for you finding and falling in love and supported you when life when got too hot to handle.
But moving hundreds of miles away changes these relationships. No matter how hard you try to hold on. They change.
You’re going to cry declining the Facebook event invite to your best friend’s housewarming party. You’re going to be mad when you’re fighting with your husband and have no one close enough to drive to who won’t judge you for looking like a hot mess at 10 p.m. You’re going to be bummed that you can’t buy your friend a shot for graduating with her masters.
You’ll be upset that you can’t help your best friend move in with her boyfriend. You’ll feel helpless that you can’t bring beers and ice cream to your friend going through a breakup. You’re never going to think flowers and a card are sufficient enough for her birthday. And wine night won’t feel the same when you’re looking at each other through a smartphone.
You’re going to be pissed at yourself for letting two weeks go by without calling her. You’re going to be envious when you see Instas of all your girlfriends at happy hour. You’ll be jealous when you see them tailgating for your favorite team – the same team that no one in your new city likes.
You’re going to miss meeting for lunch and drinks after you clock out. You’ll be sad when you’re watching Pretty Little Liars alone and realize your inside jokes are only funny in person. Your workouts are going to be lonelier and your weekends won’t be the same.
You’ll miss seeing them be wives and mothers. You’ll miss seeing them thrive at their careers and be passionate about their communities. You’re going to realize that milestones and moments will happen without you.
You’re going to miss seeing their faces and hearing their laugh. You’re going to miss reminiscing over a glass of wine and daydreaming about your futures. You’re going to miss your friends. And it’s going to hurt.
So to all my girlfriends, all over the country, I miss you. I do today and I will tomorrow. But I’ll talk to you soon.