When I decided to go to college at American, I knew I wasn’t just picking my college but also where I would live post-grad. I knew I wanted to be in DC since I visited in 8th grade. I also figured I’d be at an advantage of having friends as a recent college grad. While some of my close college friends stuck around for a few months after graduation, they soon dispersed to New York and other parts of the Northeast to pursue their careers and attend law and grad school. I started my job in communications and started searching for post-college friends.
Clearly I survived but losing my friends so soon after graduation was a serious shock. I obviously knew things would be different after we received our diplomas and no longer lived a short walk away from each other. Catching up would require more than just a “Chef Geoff’s at 5?” text? Also side note: Chef Geoff’s burgers are the best.
One of the hardest people to say bye to was my friend Kendall. After spending freshman and sophomore years being asked by friends “Do you know Kendall? I feel like you guys would be friends” and always responding “Nope, we’ve never met,” I entered my junior year Internet Marketing class and sat down next to a guy friend and a few of his fraternity brothers. Another girl sat down on the other side of the guys and quickly introduced herself to me as Kendall. It was clearly the infamous Kendall I was supposed to be friends with. And surprisingly, the countless people at parties for two years hit the nail on the head. We were supposed to be friends.
After taking Internet Marketing together, we were practically joined at the hip. Considering we ran in the same social circles and had several close friends, it was almost comical we hadn’t actually met. Seriously, it was like a sitcom.
We graduated and she was quickly scooped up to work for a fancy schmancy New York advertising agency while I stayed in DC to work in communications.
Being in a long distance best friendship takes just as much effort as any other long distance relationship. Trust me on this. I feel like it took a few months but we soon got into a groove and were able to catch up. And then Kendall told me she had a job interview.
Spoiler alert: It was a job interview for her dream job…and it was in Los Angeles. Another spoiler alert: She got the job!
I was so so excited for her to land such an impressive role. But the idea of being on opposite ends of the country was rough. It took a little adjustment but here’s how Kendall and I are surviving a long distance best friendship:
1 // Remember It’s Normal To Feel Out of Sync Sometimes
At the very beginning of our long-distance best friendship, the time difference took a serious toll on our chats. We’d normally rely on gchat to fill each other in on any updates/thoughts/feelings etc. Except that when Kendall would get on gchat in California, I’d be getting ready to head home for the day. I’d open up my Gmail the next day to a missed gchat. This happened for what felt like weeks. Sure we’d text and call on the weekends but gchat was always our thing and it sucked at the beginning, I felt like we were out of a groove. Thankfully as the new job and move settled, Kendall returned to gchat. It was a happy day : )
2 // Snail Mail
Who doesn’t love getting a card in the mail?! Between the bills or the billionth menu for yet another takeout place, a funny/punny/silly card makes the day just so much better. Kendall and I will send each other a snail mail every few months or so (P.S. I popped a card for her in the mail this morning!). Picking out just the right card is half of the fun, I love going through Paper Source’s expansive wall in Georgetown to find just the perfect card to make us laugh out loud. Trader Joe’s also has awesome cards though it can be a hit-or-miss situation.
3 // Make A List of Things To Talk About
Okay so I’m not always great about following this rule because I’m usually so excited to chat with Kendall that it’s really just stream of consciousness. I ramble like nobody’s business. But if we’ve planned to have a phone call (pesky time zones), I know we’re going to be chatting for the long haul so I’ll write down a few events/things/thoughts I wanted to tell her. Otherwise I know I’ll forget until we hang up. And then I’ll realize I never asked for her opinion on a top I had my eye on or we never analyzed a date. Plus Kendall and I bonded over a mutual love of creating lists so it’s really only fitting.
4 // Pick Up Right Where You Left Off
Probably the best thing about having to survive a long-distance best friendship is knowing that the friendship is special and totally worth any extra effort. We shot these photos a couple of weeks ago when Kendall was in town for a bachelorette, we had gone to dinner the night before at Cactus Cantina (the BEST margaritas/fajitas/salsa in town). But before that, we hadn’t seen each other in person for a whole year. Though it’d been approximately 337 days since we’d last seen each other, it felt like no time had passed since our last meet-up, which I think is very good sign of a strong friendship that can last the miles.
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