As someone who suffers from anxiety, it may seem counter intuitive that I thrive on change. But ever since I was a young girl, I explicitly sought out change. For example, every couple of months I would rearrange my bedroom. That was a “change” I could control.
As I got older, my addiction to change advanced. I moved on to bigger change. The change of moving. And not just moving apartments, but moving states.
Moving to a new state comes with its own set of challenges, but my biggest issue isn’t with the packing…
or the unpacking…
or the expenses incurred during the move…
or finding a new job (and the whole set of anxiety that comes with being jobless)…
or even making new friends…
Those things take time and energy, but they’re not the worst part.
“But Skye,” you may be wondering, “how can being in a new state with no job and no money NOT be the worst part about moving?”
I mean, you’re right. That part is pretty unsettling. But is it the worst part? Negative.
The Worst Part About Moving
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately…and the worst part is who you leave behind.
Over the past four years I have lived in four different states (Arizona, Hawaii, New Jersey and Texas) and traveled throughout 16 different countries (Belgium, Cambodia, Croatia, Czech Republic, England, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Laos, Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Vietnam, Wales).
During that time, I made innumerable friendships: some of which will last me a lifetime, and some that will just remain happy, distant memories. I often wish I could collect everyone I’ve ever met and keep them in the same place so I can see them whenever I want. But that’s the downside of traveling and moving — I will never be able to live near EVERYONE.
And maintaining those long-distance friendships can be difficult.
And frankly, I’m not very good at it.
How I Maintain My Long Distance Relationships
I’m probably not the best-equipped to write on this topic, as I’m not the best at actively managing my long distance relationships. I hardly use social media unless it’s for work or travel (unlike many of my millennial counterparts who post about everything) and I seldom make phone calls or FaceTime calls. Which is actually pretty terrible, especially considering that I live so far from the majority of my favorite people.
I should say I manage my relationships by making frequent phone calls, texting 24/7 and visiting friends periodically. Those are probably good ways to maintain proper long distance relationships.
But I have TOO MANY long distance relationships to do that. There wouldn’t be enough time in my day to reach out to everyone all the time. Instead, I rely on one thing.
The relationship itself.
What does that even mean? Well I form friendships that can withstand long distance — some friendships are even based around the fact that I traveled or moved. When you frequently test your friendships with long distance, you quickly learn which ones can withstand the stressor of change.
And lucky for me, many of mine have.
Lucky for me, whenever I randomly message or visit a friend, our friendship (typically) picks up right where we left off.
Alright, I should probably wrap this up so I can catch my train home from work. I probably shouldn’t be typing this at work anyway. So what is the takeaway from this article? What was the point in you reading it?
Here it is:
Moving is exciting, and always a welcome change in my life, but leaving friends behind is never easy!
So if you’re reading this (which you obviously are) and we have/had a close friendship (which I hope we do/did), I want you to know that I love you and I miss you!
Feel free to send me a message with a funny memory of a time we shared!
xo – Skye