Because my best friend felt excluded when I shared my list of what I’m grateful for in October 2018.)
When people speak of their best friends, they often start off with their origin story — you know, how they initially met. For some, their lifelong friendships were sparked early on, perhaps in elementary or middle school. Others met in college or in their careers later on. However, more often than not, these relationships share one common factor: they were started when those people were standing face-to-face.
If you couldn’t already tell, that wasn’t the case with me and my best friend.
Taylor and I met on Tumblr when I was just 16-years-old. We were both members of an application-based writing group, but we didn’t interact that often. (Truth be told, she intimidated me. At the time, she was this cool college girl who lived out in LA, while I was a socially awkward high school senior from Amishtown, USA. Turns out, my first impression of her was completely off and she’s just as strange as I am. But I digress.)
After a while, we drifted away from said writing group and each other. We were connected on Facebook but, again, didn’t interact much outside of liking the occasional photo or status. Years passed and, eventually, we both got engaged. We congratulated each other and joked about inviting the other to our respective weddings.
However, it wasn’t until I reached out on a whim that we really started talking and getting to know each other. It was August 2016 at the time, and we have been all but inseparable ever since. We’ve been there for each other on our best and worst days, celebrated each others’ wins, mourned each others’ losses, and supported each others’ dreams.
When we met for the first time face-to-face, it was as though we had been hanging out since we were kids, not just chatting throughout the day on Messenger. We were even in each others’ weddings — not just at — with Taylor serving as my (calm, collected, creative, and supportive) Maid of Honor, and me as one of her (over-caffeinated and, honestly, jet-lagged) bridesmaids.
I couldn’t name a more consistent and encouraging friend even if I tried, and I’m so thankful for our friendship and all it entails — from going to Hobby Lobby with each other via FaceTime, to singing in the car and wearing matching pajamas in-person.
All in all, what I’m really trying to say is that you should never let distance (or the medium through which you meet) be a deciding factor in your friendships. Sure, having your best friend live 2,600+ miles away is difficult, what with busy schedules and those pesky time-zones. However, you’ll find that any additional effort required in coordinating FaceTime dates, flights, or shipping each other gifts is well worthwhile. After all, physical distance is not equivalent to closeness. Thanks for being my person, Tay.