staying close when far away

Right now I am 9139km away from Bremen. I am living in a different country, on a different continent, in a different time zone and I’ve got a very different, very busy life. And I am incredibly bad at texting back. Still, I won’t accept to neglect my friends even a tiny bit. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while (you do real mvp) you know that I base a huge part – maybe too huge – of my life and especially my life decisions on quotes I found on tumblr. Just like this one:

You need someone who goes out of their way to make it obvious that they want you in their life.

And I try to be that person. And since I am doing that I feel like all my friendships are worth more than before, like there’s more trust, more love and more deepness. #deepshitwithkimi

Before I even moved to the US I already followed this principle: On valentine’s day I threw homemade muffins and valentine’s cards in my single friend’s mail boxes. I brought them cake to school (or wherever) on brithdays, there were also muffins on christmas and before finals, I sent postcards from vacation, and brought along piles of souvenirs. If I knew someone was having a rough day, they found chocolate hanging on their car mirror the next morning.

I think that when we get older, and also our friendships get older, we take them for granted. My best friend is my best friends since over 18 years and I am sure no matter what I do or even if I do nothing this will never change. But I love my best friend to the moon, three times around it and back, and she should know it.

Now that I am so far away and only got so little time (and I am really, really bad at texting back and staying in contact) all of that got a little more complicated: I can’t drive around and drop random muffins off, I can’t send that many cards on valentines day, I won’t be there on birthdays, proms and new year and because of the time zones facetiming is not easy either. But in throughout the last few months I think I found my way to let my friends now that even through all this distance, they are a priority.

  1. If you don’t have time, you make time. As I already said, I am THE WORST at texting back. At the beginning of my year it sometimes took me weeks to get a 1 minute voice memo back to my friends (and they still weren’t mad, #friendshipgoals or what?). Now I tke 10 minutes in the morning to reply to all messages that came in over night and 10 in the evening to reply to everything I haven’t had time to answer during the day. That way the messages don’t pile up until they sink down in the messenger deeper and deeper until I forget they ever existed.
  2. Your friends can’t read your mind, especially not from more than 9000km away, USE WORDS. Of course it can happen that your week is so stressful that there’s absolutely no minute left to reply or call or whatever. When I find myself in one of those situations I usually send out a short “hey, sorry I am not responding at the moment, this week is super stressy and I am super busy, I’ll reply as soon as I can, love you <3". If you are too stressed to even do that, write it once, put it in your notes and copy & paste when you need it, you should be able to make these 10 seconds for your friends. Your friends will feel so much better knowing that you care about them and are not just ignoring them.
  3. Use the time you have. During the week there are only two moments every day that I can facetime with my friends: In the morning before work and when the kiddo naps early. That often results in just 10 minutes of facetiming because the kiddo wakes up or the time zones suck so much that my friends are busy while I have time. But 10 minutes are better than nothing. And also don’t whine about getting up one hour early on weekends to facetime, your friends are worth it.
  4. Don’t know how to name this one, but it’s genius anyway. Before I flew over I already wrote letters and got presents in advance, that I stacked up in my room and told my mom to bring them to my friends on the right dates. I gave friends chocolate and other stuff to drop off at another friend when I know they are having a rough time (huge shoutout to my one friend who drove to my best friend at 11pm, in cold german weather, BY BIKE to hang chocolate onto his car, #friendshipgoals again).
  5. Always be there. No matter what time of the day or how busy I am, when my friends need me I am always right there and will reply within seconds to help where I can and to not let them alone with their problem. Even if that means I’ll only have 3 hours of sleep that night. As I sai, no matter where I am, my friends are always my priority.
  6. Invest in them. I loooooooove giving people gifts. And even now all my friends get presents for their birthdays, but instead of always paying the outrageous costs for shipping from the US to Germany I simply order gifts on german websites and send them to friends or my parents, who then bring the gift over to the birthday dude. For christmas I send a package with gifts for all my friends over. The whole thing took 170$ off my bank account, but here’s how I see it: Even if spending that much money hurts in that particular moment, after a few months you won’t even remember it but your friends always will. #deepshitagain
  7. Let them know they are on your mind as much as you can. Tag them in memes, post #throwback pictures, comment on their photos, send random “I miss you <3"s, send a link of a video you thought they would find funny as well.

When living abroad for some time you’ll soon notice that some friendships become less and less intense and less and less important, and you just know that these friendships won’t last forever, but that’s completely normal. We are getting older and we have shit to do. But on the other side you’ll also realize who your real friends are, who with a little luck, a little work and a lot of love might stay around forever. And that’s something really, truly beautiful. 🙂

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