A year ago today I said “see ya later” to my best friend and former (soon to be again) roommate. As our sophomore year of college was ending our junior year would begin with adventures for the both of us.
I spent the fall semester roaming the wilderness and Kendall is currently spending her spring semester wandering Europe, and then we both spent a semester at Southeastern without each other, which was a whole other adventure in and of itself.
Our sophomore spring semester was wrought with weird sad tension where we purposefully did not address our coming separation. We met our first day of college and had roomed together ever since. We could count on one hand the number of meals we had not eaten together. I was even widely known as “Kendall’s roommate.”
How would we do it? We had never been in college without each other and thinking of doing it now seemed impossible.
The day the above photo was taken I packed my stuff up and left first. I remember running around campus to get last minute things accomplished, feeling excited about my impending wilderness semester, but also nervous because I didn’t know when I would see my best friend next.
We hugged for a long time and I looked up at our third floor window to wave, and then started to sob 10 minutes into my drive.
Of course, as is typical, the situation was not as dire as we felt it would be. Last semester I flourished in a way I never had before, and this semester was the same.
Forcing yourself to adapt and be uncomfortable in the situations you’re in is of the utmost importance. Relationships often become a crutch when you rely on them too heavily. Being in unreachable places and halfway across the world from Kendall taught me to stand on my own and lean on my Father for support more than the people around me.
No relationship, even ones with the best people and ones that make you a better person, is your identity.
What a year of separation taught me is independence and adaption and branching out and finding out who the 20-something version of myself is without the Nutella to my spoon at my side.
Growth, mainly, it taught me growth.
And growing as an individual strengthens what you bring to relationships. Our friendship has always been amazing, but now that we have each grown and changed I believe it will be even better.
Though some moments I missed my best friend so much it hurt this past year I am grateful for this time that stretched me. I know Kendall feels the same way.
Never underestimate the power of doing things that scare you. Never underestimate what can be accomplished by taking a less than ideal situation and tackling it headlong.
All that being said, being reunited in August can’t come soon enough 🙂