Today The Daily Post asks:
“What’s the most time you’ve ever spent apart from your favorite person? Tell us about it.”
In June 2011, Banji had been my best friend for nearly 12 years. We lived about 30 minutes apart and spent huge amounts of time together, often at her house. We enjoyed home-cooked meals, musical duets, study parties that often turned into all-nighters, playing games with family and friends, learning crafts from her mom, watching the same movies over and over and over again, etc.
But that month, she moved 14 hours away to take a job that was way too good to pass up. It was hard for both of us. She has come home for the past 2 Holiday Seasons, and we got to spend a week together in summer 2012 when we both attended a mutual friend’s wedding. So, we’ve had about 6 months between visits for the past year and a half.
It’s been devastating. I’ve withdrawn from a lot of the things I loved, especially music. We participated in orchestras together, but without Banji, I just could not bring myself to continue. I don’t even attend as many concerts. I stopped composing music, riding my bike, reading books for the fun of it, doing arts and crafts. I’ve withdrawn socially, too, spending less time with friends and not really making any effort to make new ones. Where I once considered Banji’s parents a second family, I stopped communicating with them entirely except for when she is present, too.
There are other factors involved in all this: moving to an area that isn’t really right for me, other friends & classmates moving away and living their own lives, focusing much of my time and energy on my relationship with Fox, being a graduate commuter at a commuter school where most of the social opportunities are more geared toward undergraduates. I don’t always make the best choices, and that has made it harder live a fulfilling life. Maybe I would have made better choices or had an easier time coping if we’d been able to see each other more often, or at least made more of an effort to keep in touch between visits. (I’m not very good at keeping in touch.)
However the different factors truly work out, the point is that I miss Banji terribly. That plays a significant role in my depression. When she moved, I lost a huge part of my social support system. It reminded me of previous losses and raised old, painful feelings of abandonment and helplessness. It shattered my self-esteem, especially when I hit obstacles in pursuing my own career goals. Not only was she moving away, she was moving into a new stage of life without me.
We’re hopeful because she is moving again in February to take a new job that is only 4 hours away! It’s not as good as what we once had, but at least we’ll be able to spend weekends together without huge expense and months of planning. I’m also moving back into an area and location that is better for me.