Recently I observed the following interaction between two people's Twitters (yeah, I was on Twitter briefly. It has since been deleted. Too much stimulation for this girl's ADD brain.).
One friend commented on missing the other- something along the lines of "You live too far away!!!".
The other friend wrote back, "I know!! I can't wait til heaven when we can be next door neighbors!!!".
Oh man did that strike a chord.
I sent this card to Tamara for her birthday last fall.
I drew in a little Starbucks between our imaginary houses.
I have been actively, achingly missing my friends lately. I am feeling a deep longing to be doing regular life with them.
My trip to Wheaton last month was wonderful, and the best part was lots of casual time with my close girlfriends. I went shopping and drank coffee and talked for hours with Tamara. I took meandering evening walks through the neighborhood and cuddled on the couch watching Modern Family and talked for (more) hours with Christine. It was just what I needed, the perfect time with them.
And at points I could barely shake my sadness.
I was super surprised- and then I was SUPER irritated with myself! What kind of a jerk is so ungrateful as to feel sad over something like an awesome trip and lots of time with people I love?! When I love my life in Oregon and CHOSE IT and they love their lives there and I am SO SO lucky to have such great friends near AND far?!
Yeah well, unfortunately (as I would tell anyone else who tried it)- lecturing yourself about how you should feel (whether or not you're right), while so much fun and all, really is not all that productive.
I love where I live and I love the life I have chosen. I love my friends and where they are and what they're doing. I am grateful, and I would not change anything.
But I just miss them. Last year was just... life. Christine and I were involved in each other's daily lives, talking about work and relationships and what to buy at Target- as it all happened. I could stop by Josh and Meghan's apartment and go for a run or grab a bite of whatever delicious thing she'd just cooked on any random week night. A Friday night of Thai food and wine and a long conversation with Tamara happened regularly, and did not require a plane ticket.
I did all of those things in my eight days in Wheaton. It felt like being home- like the most normal, natural thing in the world. And somehow, this time, it sunk in that it's not. This past month since coming back, as I've realized it more and more- that those moments are not my daily life, and more than likely never will be again apart from a few occasional days of vacation...
Well... I've been sad.
I don't regret one bit of this decision, of pursuing this degree and definitely not of putting roots down in this community.
And I am so thankful for my friends' lives, for the blessings filling their Illinois worlds. For rhythms which are joyful and healthy, for jobs and church homes and husbands that love them so well.
Mostly, I am just so thankful I have these friends. Near or far, they are so life-giving for me. Every time I get off the phone with one of them after an hour of laughter and chatting that feels like we might as well be in each other's kitchens, the multiple times a week I send or receive a quick text for prayer over anything from a long day and a crabby attitude to paralyzing fear or deep pain- I feel filled up to the brim with thankfulness and joy. How blessed am I, to have such deep relationships with such wonderful women?
I just really hate not living near them anymore.
And I can't wait til heaven when we can live next door.
Talking to Tamara while I drink coffee on my couch... as she drinks coffee 2100 miles away on her couch.
(Actually, I think she was in her car. Pretty sure there was coffee, though).
Vegging with Christine last month. A best friend and a purple fuzzy blanket... How life should be.