Distance really is a killer on friendships. Having spent so much of my life away from ‘home’ there seem to have been so many people who have drifted. You see I went to boarding school about five hours drive away from where my family lived, then I went to University 14 hours drive from the family and 17 hours drive from where I had gone to school. Then the big leap of living in the UK for 11 years – 12 hour flight from where I grew up, went to school and studied. And now four years ago finally leaving the UK to move ‘home’ to the town I went to University in. All that moving about has made holding onto friendships very hard, but it has meant that the ones that have lasted have really stood the test of time.
You know how it goes, you make a new friend, you get close and then either they move away or you do. For a while you stay in touch, you email (or in the old days write letters), you catch up on Facebook, but ultimately your lives drift apart, they start to make new friends and so do you, you both take up new hobbies, they have babies, and suddenly you turn around and the friend you had doesn’t look so familiar anymore.
In the last year or so it has felt like this has happened to my BFF and I. Hers is one of the friendships that has stood the test of time. We became best friends back at boarding school when on my first weekend she showed me where the toilet was in the classroom block – yes I had lasted a whole week thinking the only toilet in the school was in the dormitory! In our final year at school she became a ‘day girl’ and suddenly wasn’t around as much as before, but still the friendship lasted. When I went away to University she went overseas and we wrote letters and it felt like she was still there. Then she came to the town I was studying in and the friendship was fully renewed especially when she started dating one of my boyfriends friends. I moved to the UK, she followed a few years later and we lived just down the road from each other for most of the time I was in the UK. She is/was my forever friend.
Since we moved back to SA four years ago, she has been the only thing I have missed from the UK. But we still chatted at least once a month for about an hour and our lives still seemed to be tracking each other. Now not so much. She had a baby a year ago and now it feels that when we talk it is all about her baby and she cannot possibly comprehend our struggle to be parents. She uses phrases like “meant to be”, “right time”, “relax”!!! I do not want to let go of this friendship and I doubt I ever will, but we have drifted, but I guess that’s just part of life.