Six years ago my best friend broke my heart by moving nearly 10 hours away to Athens, Georgia. Sure, she moved there because after nearly a decade of insanely hard work, she got her Ph.D. and was offered basically her dream job teaching at UGA. But this job came with a price: she left me behind.
And yeah, I’m amazingly proud of her and make sure that everyone I meet knows how much of a genius she is, but it doesn’t stop me from missing her like crazy pretty much every day. How can I not? She’s been my best friend for over two decades now and is the one human being who pretty much knows every single thought and emotion I’ve ever had. I adore my husband, but on the rare times my bestie is in town, he knows he and the kids take a backseat.
I know that sounds harsh, but remember, I did say rare times. Sadly, my bestie and I are both educators and ain’t neither of us gettin’ rich from our career choices. Because I stopped at my master’s degree, she has way more crippling debt than I do, so it’s not like we are jetting across the country to see each other every weekend. Still, we always make time for each other.
Usually I pack the kids up and spend a week with her during fall break and another one during spring break. She generally comes to see us during the summer and we do spend our days tooling around town with my kids. When my husband gets home from work is when we say goodnight and have time just for us. And, once a year we go on an extended weekend with our three other best friends from college, which is always one of the highlights of the year.
This year we switched things up a bit because my mom wanted my kids to come visit her, so we got to spend a week running around Athens with just the two of us (and her husband who occasionally tagged along). And, since one of our good friends just had surgery, she came down for my fall break to hang out with both of us.
She only got to stay for 3.5 days, but we had a whirlwind of fun while she was here. We spent quite a bit of time tending to our sick friend, who was just barely starting to get out of bed. But we also got to to our favorite coffee shop, a place we spent at least two days a week at when she lived near me, four times. My kids were kind and sat at a separate table so that we could catch up and gab away for an hour or so each morning. We went shopping at her favorite stores (Anthropologie, Homespun, and Silver in the City).
We ate at some of our favorite places like India Garden and Public Greens. I got to introduce her to one of my favorite places, Divvy, where we shared delicious small plates and got to try a dessert flight (the Black Forrest Chocolate is the most amazing thing on the entire menu. I want to drown in it). We even got to try some place completely new to both of us: Just Pop In! Popcorn Cafe. Not only did we get some super yummy sandwiches, but we also had popcorn and wine flights. Sure, we really only got it for the popcorn flight, but the wine was fun too!
The reason I have the blues is because once again our visit has come to an end. I had to say goodbye to her on Sunday morning and before she was even out of the neighborhood, I already missed her like crazy. Even though I know I’ll get to see her again in March, March is so far away! The idea of making it another five months until we see each other is rather soul crushing. I keep trying to remind myself that in just five months, not only will I get to take an amazing trip to Disney World with my family, but my kids and I will also get to spend a week visiting our favorite places in Athens (and we have a bunch).
Right now the hardest part of being a grown up isn’t having to work 60+ hours a week, or pay bills, or be responsible for small humans who still act like they need me to do everything for them. Right now, the hardest part is knowing that the best friend anyone could ever have is so far away and I can’t just plop down on the couch next to her, fire up an old episode of Project Runway and talk about whose outfits we like and whose attitudes we hate.