Every morning when I roll out of bed and look across the room at my dresser, this photo of us smiles back at me.
Distance makes friendships challenging--time differences, busy careers, phone hatred, male partners, lives evolving--but there is nothing that could change my love for her. We may be the farthest we could possibly be from each other on the continental U.S., but in our hearts, we stand side by side.
True, I miss her so much it brings tears to my eyes. Nothing can make me cry like that, not even my nephew, and I love that little man more than myself. There is something to a soul mate, a sidekick, a dreamer who dreams as big as you do. There is something so universal about love for a best friend that every book and movie includes one, and we instantly understand.
We have changed since that picture has taken--physically and emotionally. As we end the final year of our 20s, we both know who we are and what we want more than ever before--and this is from a couple of women who always knew who we were. That's one of the reasons we've gotten along so well. Head strong and self-sufficient, we can take the most dire of circumstances--break ups, layoffs, family deaths, life-threatening medical conditions--and roll with it. Somehow, life has never managed to knock us far off of our feet, no matter how hard the wind seems to blow. It can get us down, but it can never blow us over. Even then, we manage to have a fuck ton of fun in the meantime, and we still lead successful careers in the morning. (What I would give to be booze cruising down the Florida highways with her right now, singing Lizz Wright at the top of our lungs and stopping at random roadside beaches and bars.) Life with her by my side is an adventure, always.
She is getting married this year, beginning a very new and exciting chapter of her life. Though I of course wish I could be there for every step of the way, I can't from where I am, just as I couldn't be there while she laid in a hospital bed, not knowing whether or if a recovery was around the corner. I've let go of that physical incapability, though, because there's nothing in my heart that was ever nor will ever be distant. She knows that. I should know that too. Through every cake tasting and every dress, I am there, in our hearts, standing side by side.