Distance sucks. There's no way to sugar coat it. There is no frilly metaphor or poetic diction I can use to convince myself, or anyone else, otherwise. It sucks, it's hard and it takes a ton of work for people to maintain relationships with people who are miles away.
Communication is the core of any relationship, but time-difference, roaming, poor cell service and overlapping schedules make it difficult to communicate. It means making the extra effort to call when you could be lying in bed doing nothing, to send a text telling the person that you're thinking of them and that you love them.
I think the biggest fear that comes with leaving or having someone leave is the idea that you will be forgotten. That when this person does not see your face every day or every other day, you'll slowly fade into a memory and get pushed to the very back of their thoughts and stop becoming a priority. That leaving them was easy. That maintaing the relationship you have invested time and heart into will become a chore.
Like I said, distance sucks. There's no easy way to go about it, but we live in a technological age so we've been blessed with little slabs of beeping metal that help us out a bit. We've got WhatsApp and Viber, Skype, Snapchat, Facebook, FaceTime, Instagram, Kik and GroupMe where we can video chat, call, message, send a picture, video or voice note; communicate in any way, shape or form so that the other person knows that they haven't been forgotten, we're thinking of them and we love them.
Let's not pretend that talking through a computer is the same as face-to-face, but it suffices. When the option of seeing the person is not there, you take second best because the alternative is just depressing. Nothing makes me happier than a phone call or pictures from family, friends or significant others after not having seen or heard from them in a while.
Gone are the days where everyone stays close to home, where after college students return home to live with their parents, find work in their hometown and marry someone in that same town. Does this still happen? Yes, but it's becoming more and more normal to expand and seek such things elsewhere.
For someone who struggles with the concept of home and establishing where and what is home, I've become fascinated with the idea of packing up and going someone new and unfamiliar. What's holding me back from doing so today? Tomorrow? Next month? Next year? Relationships.
I can't help but to think of all the people I'd be leaving behind and distancing myself from, not seeing them everyday, or hearing their voices, being without their presence for long periods of time. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the idea that in a year I'll be done with my education in Savannah. The thought that I'll be leaving Savannah, possibly for good, is making me nauseous.
The city, much like the spanish moss on the oaks, has grown on me plenty, in heaps and without permission. I'd like to think I can be this unattached nomad, who can float from city to city and not get attached to any person, place or thing, live freely and somewhat carelessly. But ain't that far from the truth.
Anyway, back to my main point: distance. I need and want to go somewhere new. This, I know, will happen, so better now than never to practice healthy habits such as long-distance communication. To call up my mom just to tell her about my day, my failed attempt at laundry, what I bought at the grocery store, to keep her in the loop about the exciting and eventful as well as the mundane and the everyday. As you should with anyone you love and care for because distance is just a cluster of numbers, that will only keep you apart from those you love, if you let it.