HOW TO KEEP YOUR FRIENDS CLOSER WHEN IT FEELS LIKE DISTANCE IS TAKING OVER

 
long distance blog image

If you’ve ever moved long distance away from friends, chances are you’ve experienced what it’s like to maintain those friendships. And more often than not, you may have even had some faded friendships due to the strain of the distance. When I moved to New York a little over 4 years ago, I was anxious to leave my friends behind for that exact reason.  And being that most of my friends were ones that I had met in my late twenties and early thirties, I was more determined than ever to hold on those friendships. I knew distance would play a factor, but I wanted to do whatever I could on my part to keep my closest girlfriends in my life. Because these wen’t just acquaintances, these were friendships in which we had all been through life’s highs and lows together. And when in you’re in your 30’s, good friends are hard to come by.


And like any relationship, I think if you can withstand the distance long term then you know those are your people. And luckily for me, distance has actually made my friendships stronger. Mostly due to the fact that we all make an effort to stay in touch. With that being said, it is a huge commitment for us to maintain friendships even though we are miles apart. It’s not easy and I definitely can feel like I’m missing out in their everyday lives sometimes. And because I know many of you may have in the past or currently experiencing this in your own friendships. I wanted to share some ways in which you can keep your friends closer even at a distance.

Image via Pinterest

Image via Pinterest

Make a phone call/text

How many times do we say to friends;  “I’ve been thinking about you and just haven’t had a chance to call you”? Next time you have that thought, STOP and CALL that person. Because chances are if you don’t do it then, you’ll forget to later. If you’re not able to call, I personally love the voice message feature on iPhone that allows you to send a recorded voicemail via text message. It’s more personal than a text and easier to send when you don’t have a lot of time.  And if you’re not a phone person or maybe time in your day doesn’t allow for a phone call,  send a quick text just to say “I’m thinking of you, Let’s catch up soon!”. Or send a funny meme that you know your friend will get a laugh at. A simple message can help you and your friend be on each other’s radar, so to speak. This way it starts the conversation. And then you both can can be in touch to follow up on plans to have that catch up sesh you’ve been meaning to make time for.

Connect over FaceTime

Sometimes we just need that more personal connection with our friends especially if you don’t get to see them in person often. FaceTime or Video chat gives you both more of an opportunity to share real things going on in your lives.  And it also gives you a visual of what that looks like whether it be their home life or day to day life. You can even schedule a virtual wine night once a week/month to make it feel like you’re “hanging out” in person. Seeing each other over video helps you both to feel like you’re able to still have quality time together even miles apart.


Schedule a specific date and time to catch up

Discuss a specific date and/or time every week or month to talk over the phone. This will hold you both accountable and more likely to make good on the promise to catch up. Even if life gets busy and something comes up on that specific date, make an effort to reschedule to a new date & time right away.  We all have busy lives and realistically it can be hard to always make time for phone calls with friends. But I find that this helps to keep the momentum going by setting a specific goal.


Ask Questions

This is so important, especially when you might not get to catch up as often as you used to. When in conversation, make sure to ask your friend detailed questions. Ask about their job, kids, significant others, passion projects and any other relevant things going on in their lives. Asking specific questions helps to get a feel of their every day life and the current events that they are experiencing. It’s all about making the most out of the time that you do have when catching up via phone, FaceTime or even text. The more thoughtful your questions are, it will help make you  both feel invested in each other’s lives. And it also leaves you with follow up questions for the next conversation.

 

Send a note

Sending cards to friends is a great way to show them that you’re thinking of them. And it doesn’t have to be for any particular reason other than just saying, HELLO.  Or you can also send cards for fun holidays like National Friendship Day.  Handwritten notes are one of those things that always make you feel special when received by a friend. But if you have limited time and want something that is easy to send with a note attached, I love using INK cards. An app that allows you to send custom greeting cards straight from your cell phone and only costs $1.99 w/ shipping included! Sometimes the simplest gesture is the most appreciated.


Plan a trip in person

This may be a little harder to do with busy schedules, but I think it’s important to try and make an effort to have real face to face time. Make a plan to visit each other at least once a year. Or if you live really far away from one another, try to pick somewhere you can meet in the middle. Even if it’s only for a weekend. This will give you both something to look forward to, not to mention that you both can plan out the trip and discuss things you want to do when you get there. There is nothing better than spending real quality time your friend who you haven’t seen in what feels like forever.

 

best friend quote

What have you found helpful when it comes to long distance friendships?! I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.


XO, Rae

YOU ARE EXACTLY WHERE YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE

 

Lately, when talking to friends the same words seem to pop up in conversation, 'never say never'. I was reminded of these words again as I scrolled through Facebook this morning & looked back at an old status I wrote in 2010. 

I had no intentions on ever moving to New York City. I was perfectly content with my life in Atlanta. It was only tempting to move because my best friend had literally just moved from Atlanta to New York & I felt lonely. But I knew my life was in Atlanta and I had worked so hard to build that life. My career was just starting to come together & I was surrounded by the people I adored most. 

Fast forward almost 5 years later and life changed drastically. I started to be more open to the possibilities of leaving it all behind to pursue bigger things. Literally over a year's time I would contemplate the move to NYC. I was in a different head space than previously and I was ready to see what more was out there for me. So, I took a leap of faith and made the decision to move to NYC in the fall of 2014. The moment I actually committed to the idea, it seemed like everything fell into place. I didn't have any hesitations from that point on. Everyone was extremely supportive of my decision and not one person tried to convince me otherwise. So, I took all the encouragement and promised myself I would make the most of this new chapter. 

I didn't have a job lined up when I moved to New York. My plan was to take some time to get moved and adjusted to the city. I got anxious to get out there so 3 weeks after, I landed a position with one of the top medical practices. I was ecstatic to say the least. From my first interview, I knew this was the job for me. Immediately, I felt like I was taking NYC head on. But 6 months in, I couldn't do it anymore. I loved the job but the work environment was not ideal. It was not an easy decision for me but after a lot of consideration and countless nights crying over bad days at work, I made the decision to resign. The day I gave notice, I felt like I could breathe again. I didn't feel stressed or bad for what I had just done. I felt like it was what I had to do. I had never quit a job like that ever in my life. I've always held long term jobs ever since I was 15 years old. So, this was new territory for me. I didn't really have a plan B. And I was okay with that, for once. Which if you know me, I never not have things planned out. I'm a planner by default. But I knew I wasn't happy. I also remembered that I promised myself to live a different life here in New York by any means necessary. And I wasn't willing to compromise my happiness after leaving everything behind in Atlanta.

I wrote this Facebook status a year ago today (the day before my last day at my job):

A year later, I haven't looked back since. I took a chance on myself. And honestly I've never been happier. The past year has allowed me to get back to what's important in life. It has made me realize how unhappy I was all those years living at my job that I had always put above everything else. It has given me the opportunity to strip down to what I really want in life and what I never want to settle for. I've been blessed enough to be able to work from home, travel, write my blog and just enjoy living in this amazing city. 

My dream is to be an entrepreneur. And I'm hoping to make that happen sooner than later. I often let fear get in the way, but then I am reminded of how far I've come and all the things I've done that I never thought where even possibilities. So, I'm saying, never say never. Don't hold yourself back from things you want or deserve in your life. Everything happens for a reason. I honestly believe that. Be open to the possibilities of changing your mind. Trust the process and know that you are exactly where you're supposed to be. 

 

XO, Rae

MOVING TO NEW YORK

 
Copy of Over the HillBirthday PartyDecoration Ideas (22).png

Moving to New York has been by far the best decision I have ever made. Well...I say that NOW, maybe I should wait til I have lived here for at least a year, LOL. Moving here was not always part of my plan but life changes sometimes and here I am.

Up until 7 months ago, I was living in Atlanta, Ga. I had a great job, amazing friends and a gorgeous apartment right outside of the city. So what changed?! Well...I changed. Two and half years ago, before turning 30, I began to see my life differently unlike before. I was a few years out of a long term relationship that was on again off again for longer than I like to admit to.

When I was with my ex, I was so sure of my life, my career and wanting to be married and have kids. I had always thought that I would be married and have kids before 30. I think most women feel the pressure of this for all sorts of reasons. But turning 30 was a game changer for me. I stopped worrying about where I was in life and started to focus on where I was going in life. For me, I was so worried about trying to have this list of accomplishments by the time I turned 30 and then realized that my life was just starting. I let go of my preconceived ideas and I let myself be. I actually came to New York to visit my best friend Will (who I live with now) and celebrate my 30th Birthday.

I had no idea that almost 2 years later I would be moving to New York. Will had been trying to get me to move to New York for a few years. I would nicely say to him "maybe" but really knowing in the back of my mind that I had no intentions of moving. (He knew that as well but he still tried to convince me). At that time I was still content with my life in Atlanta and was ready to see what 30 had to offer. I would visit New York a few more times after my 30th Birthday, falling more in love with the city more each time. And then after a major loss in my life, I soon realized that maybe New York wasn't a bad idea after all.

My Grandfather passed away last year May 24th, 2014. A day that I will never forget. He was an amazing man. He traveled the world, had a very successful career and made a name for himself. He was known by a rare nickname and was the life of the party. Shortly before his passing, I had told him about the possibility of me moving to NY. He was surprisingly very excited for me. He traveled to NY often throughout his life and had nothing but great things to say and stories to tell about his trips here. I was still unsure myself if I would actually go through with it but when he passed, I knew I had to do it. Not just for him, but for me. His passing changed my life in more ways than one. But mostly he had always instilled in me to never have regrets in life. He lived life so passionately and I wanted to do the same. So, fast forward to October 2014, I packed up an SUV full of clothes and boxes with my Mom and my best friend. After 16 hours traveled up the east coast, on 3AM October 10th, 2014, I officially became a New Yorker. 

Can't wait to share this journey with you. 

 

XO, Rae