I’m on vacation this week, so thought it would be fun to get input on my search from the people witnessing it first hand. Today, my BFF Callie weighs in on what it’s like to be the one who stays put when everyone else moves away.
When Rachel first told me she wanted to write a blog about making friends I thought it was a great idea. Ok, maybe that’s not entirely true. I didn’t quite get it, really, because I hadn’t given much thought to the topic. Aside from my four year stint in Somerville, Massachusetts for college, I’ve spent my whole life in New York City (and yes, my family and friends were traumatized and appalled when I had the audacity to move across the river to Brooklyn). So, needless to say, I wasn’t so sure about the topic. But as her best friend, knowing how smart she is and what a great writer she is, I figured it would work out. Then, once she launched the blog, I (as a best friend does) sent a blast email to all my contacts telling them to read it. Well, the feedback I got was overwhelming. So many people identified! Everyone from college acquaintances who moved to Chicago and wanted to meet Rachel to my middle aged Aunt who relocated to North Carolina for a late-in-life career change. I gave it more thought and realized Rachel is so right. BFFs are hard to come by. Wasn’t I lucky I didn’t have to go through a search like hers?
Then I started to analyze my own life and friend situation, only to realize that I’d certainly not made any new BFFs since freshman year of college. Sure, I had new friends from my book club and people I’d met through work or other friends, but I was nowhere near the BFF stage with any of them. Rachel hit the nail on the head: Making best friends (the kind you call up for no reason other than to recap what happened on Glee, those you know will be excited if you stop by their apartment and curl up on the couch just because you’re in the neighborhood) is just plain hard to do.
But I’m protected, right? My BFFs live a short subway ride away…right? I suddenly realized it’s not going to be like that much longer. My BFFs are slowly but surely all moving away. I know Rachel’s had the challenge of moving to a new city, but what about being the person left behind when everyone else leaves?!? Pretty soon I may have some local-BFF searching to do. Since Rachel moved three years ago, another one of my best friends left for DC and two others have plans to move in the next two years. Where does that leave me? I thought I was safe, staying in the protective bubble of my home city. It looks like I’ll be thrown into the BFF search, despite thinking “I’m staying in NYC so that will never be me.” At least I’ll have an entire archive of blog posts (and even a book!) to help lead the way when the time comes.
14 responses to “And Then There Was One…”
It is hard to be the one left behind – I hear ya there. Two of my BFFs have moved away in the past six months. Fortunately, my husband and I are now moving to Boston, where one of those friends just moved – but that means I’ll be thrown into the BFF search myself! I’ll definitely be relying on Rachel’s blog for tips. 🙂
So how do we meet Rachel? Live in a suburb of Chicago. On the search myself after my BFF went … after 6 years.
It’s so hard and don’t even know hard to start over again. Need some suggestions.
I live in NYC and 5 of my closest friends are moving to Boston! Boston! I thought I was safe here–I thought people would keep coming to me! It’s sad, but in the past year, I’ve rediscovered some old friends (like Callie 😉
Dad and I will always be around although I guess we can’t really replace a BFF, as much as we would like to…. And we LOVE having you in NYC (even if it is across the river)!
What about Jill?!?!??!?!?!
What about Jill?!?!?!
Nice to hear the perspective of the BFF left behind. I’ve always been the one moving, but I think no matter where you are, it is throwing yourself out there – perhaps some of the contacts you have already made have some BFF potential. Maybe you can invite some of these people over for dinner and get to know them better. Having Rachel’s blog for some tips will certainly help as well.
Thanks for sharing your story.
Relocation makes you feel grown-up and trying to make new friends reminds you of that growing-up makes friend-making more difficult. I think it is harder to really bond with people when you do not share the total abandon of youth –the tipsy night you shared, being present at the beginning of friends’ relationships that bloomed into life partnerships. These foundational events are the glue that cement new friendships and give them a durability that lasts. I may go 6 months these days not seeing Callie, but navigating high school together, well, no number of meet-ups for drinks or getting-to-know-you brunches can hold a candle to that. I am still optimistic about new friends, but maybe there are capital “F” friends and lower case “f” friends.
I’m not going anywhere just yet! Plus we’ll always have annual couples vacations! Great post, Cal!
Great post! This is exactly what I’m going through — all my friends have moved away. I think that any of us who live in big cities have to prepare for this, the economy being what it is. Most of the people I know who have fled Chicago have done so due to the cost of living.
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