8. Distance Means Nothing

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How planes, trains, and automobiles allow homies to make it happen.

When I decided back in September of 2015 to move back home to Los Angeles, the only thing that didn’t feel “right” about it was moving away from all of my friends. Well, if my move taught me one thing, it is that true friendship can withstand distance.

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Within my first month home, I had friends drive across the state to spend the weekend with me at Disneyland (read about it here). Soon after, I was receiving visit from friends living in New YorkSan FranciscoDallasSacramento and Oregon. I was traveling to them and they were returning the favor.

But there are two standout cases that have reinforced my belief that distance means nothing. First, my best friend Jessie.

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Jessie and I have a saying we use often: #homiesmakeithappen. Jessie is my number one homie and we do a damn good job of making it happen. Our goal has been to see each other every month during the time I was living at home and we stuck to that extremely well considering she has a full-time job and we are both living on a limited budget. Oh yeah, and we live 6-hours apart by car. I recently joked with my boyfriend that I see my best friend more than he does, and they live and work in the same city.

To keep things fair, Jessie and I rotate who visits who; and to keep things interesting, we often travel to new places together.

We started things off in November with my visiting her in Sacramento, and us taking a day trip up to Chico, CA.

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Later the same month, Jessie came down to LA to spend Thanksgiving with my family. Here we are on a six-mile hike at 7AM.

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Although December is Jessie’s birthday month, with all of the craziness of the holiday season, we prioritized time with our families. But to celebrate her birthday, I treated Jessie to a weekend in Santa Cruz in January. We tried Airbnb for the first time and hiked in the mountains along a railroad track.

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In February, I drove back up to Sacramento, which resulted in a semi-spontaneous trip to Nevada.IMG_8764

Unfortunately, our trip to Montana in March was derailed when I missed my flight. To make up for it, Jessie came down for a weekend in LA in April.

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In May, we met in San Francisco for a Stanford MBA event.

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And before the month had ended, we met up in Seattle to go to Alaska together.

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After only two days of separation, Jessie was already back in LA with me to celebrate my dad’s 65th birthday. We might have missed each other in December and March, but we saw each other three times in May alone!

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We also missed each other in June because I was in Europe and Mexico, but I drove up to Sacramento in July to celebrate my birthday with Jessie. Together, we road tripped to Oregon, where we stopped in Ashland for a day and spent a weekend in Eugene touring apartments.

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Nine visits during 10 months of separation with a completely even distribution of either visiting each other or meeting in the middle. If that doesn’t make you think #friendshipgoals, I don’t know what will.

Second standout case is my boyfriend Riley.

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Now I have never wanted a long-distance relationship and never thought I would sign up for one. But Riley challenged all of that. A great guy walked into my life at the right time and I decided to take the plunge and never look back. Well, half a year later, we are doing great, and I think starting with a long-distance relationship was the best thing for us.

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Although it did offer its complications, living in different states forced us to quickly learn how to communicate in ways the other would respond to, and we established trust and respect for each other immediately. But my favorite thing about our long-distance relationship is that it truly allowed us to each continue to live our lives. So often people, and I am guilty of this, enter relationships and their world shrinks to the size of their new partner. With Riley, my world grew.

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I continued to travel, and he encouraged it, planning trips for us in Bend, Oregon and Cancun, Mexico. I continued to meet new people, including Riley’s parents, extended family, and closets friends. I continued to read and hike and write and eat (eating with Riley is especially fun because he is a huge foodie). I continued to apply to MBA programs and Riley proofread my personal statements as he silently hoped that I would become a Duck like him (our first conversation was about UO, as I was in Oregon touring the campus). I continued to share my thoughts on my dad’s Parkinson’s Disease, and he shared his about his grandfather’s diagnosis.

Although we didn’t define things for a long while (waiting until I had accepted UO), we made time for each other. Like with Jessie, Riley and I saw each other once a month since March. I visited Portland three times and Riley came to LA twice, the second ending with a trip to Mexico. We are fortunate to have been able to do this for the past six months, but the main reason it worked so well is because we had a light at the end of the tunnel: my moving to Oregon in August. Honestly, without that, I think distance would have meant something. But even now that I am in Oregon, there is still a two-hour drive between us, which I kind of love. It is enough to give us that buffer of space (which I so desperately need to ensure I navigate this new state for myself) and the relative ease of seeing each other. It is enough to ensure that we still value our time together, but get plenty of togetherness. Our relationship is, literally, moving in the right direction.

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I am so lucky to have this very important lesson reinforced twice over by these two caring, generous, and loving people. As I go where I am meant to be, I will again test this rule as I prove to my family back in LA that distance means nothing because I am determined to make time for the things I love. And I love my friends and family. Together, we can make it happen. Together, we can prove that distance means nothing.

-TM

What are you thoughts on long-distance relationships of any kind? Let us know below.

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2 thoughts on “8. Distance Means Nothing

  1. Mom

    Your dad and I started our relationship (in its 3rd decade!) as quite long-distance: he in CA, me in IN for a year. This was pre-text and email, so we did it the old-fashioned way…with letters and postcards. Magic. Great way to connect and really get to know someone’s thoughts and soul.

    Liked by 1 person

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