Keeping up with friends is hard when you live in the same city. Imagine how hard it is when you live 4,000+ miles and a different time zone away from each other.
I don’t know about you, but I come from a culture that puts a lot of value on friendships so I spent a lot of time the first few months here in Uruguay talking to my friends as much as I possibly could. Sure, I hadn’t delivered Paloma yet meaning I had tons of free time on my hands. A lot of my friendships were already long distance. My best friend Lauren lives in Gainesville, FL (about 5 hours away from Miami), my sorority twin lived in Philadelphia at the time going to law school, and even though my great friend Rachel lived in Miami she was still about an hours drive away from where I lived.
There’s nothing like moving to a different country to see who you’re true friends are. I’m blessed enough to know that I chose my friends right because almost a year and a half after moving, those girls are still the ones I talk to most. But it’s hard. Normally I’d be there for the BIG events like promotion-at-work dinners, figuring-out-what-to-do-with-life drinks, i-hate-my-boyfriend couch nights, or just hey-i-miss-you brunches. However, I’m not there now and they’re not here. The big moments are when you feel the void the most.
I remember giving birth to Paloma at the hospital–a story for another day–and seeing the other mothers getting showered with gifts and flowers to welcome their bundle of joy. While we were blessed enough to have my family in the country with us, we didn’t have anyone else to celebrate with. But I remember coming home to messages from my friends begging me to Skype so they could see Paloma. It was so nice to see friendly faces excited about my baby. Those tiny moments meant more to me than the short “Congratulations!” I got from Facebook friends who were at one time “real” friends.
There will be other big moments that we’ll miss in each others lives, but knowing that someone somewhere has your back when they could have easily faded out of your life is a nice thought to hold on to.