Closer/Further

I have a friend I don’t spend enough time with. Well, that’s probably true of all my friends, but in this case my friend is going to be leaving the state for a few years, and I’m left kicking myself for not spending more time with her while I could, for not reaching out, for being afraid, for thinking of myself as a nuisance.

Maybe we take the really close people for granted. It’s like how I lived in Washington all my life, never more than an hour or so drive away from Seattle, but I never went up the Space Needle until a friend visiting town wanted to see it. I still haven’t eaten at the revolving restaurant on top of the Needle – it’s far too expensive.

But if we know our friends are always there, we tell ourselves we can call them tomorrow, or next weekend, or maybe the next time we have free time, and our lives get so busy, and then we don’t want to be a bother, or maybe that’s just me. And now that my friend is leaving, I’m coming up with all of these ways to communicate – maybe I can Skype her, or FaceTime her, or text her. Suddenly I’m thinking of putting in far more effort just to speak with her than I have the entire time she’s been physically close.

Knowing that a person is there, knowing that you have their friendship, knowing that they are available if you need them – it fills your heart, even when you’re not directly with them. And even with so many ways to communicate, my heart will be a little emptier with the knowledge that she is out of reach, in a way.

And of course it’s not debilitating and I very much support her and I want her to go out and do what she wants with her life. I’m just trying to process, I guess.

Hopefully she’s not reading this, because she’d feel bad about making me feel bad. But just in case she is: I love you, I swear I’ll try to get my shit together and come visit you, I’m sorry I didn’t take the time over the last year.

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