A light year is a unit of astronomical distance equivalent to the distance that light travels in one year. It’s incomprehensible for any human to measure a light year on their own. After a long day of class and work, Mel and I would often tell each other we haven’t seen one another in light years. The reality would be that we had class together that morning and maybe didn’t see each other in the past two hours. We weren’t just saying this to be dramatic- that was only half the reason- but because we did life together and that required being physically together.
College was an incredible time of being footsteps away from your best friends and being able to pour your heart and soul out over lunch in the caf. Community is the second most overused word at Point Loma right after sunset. Now that I’m no longer part of that community I understand why.
God puts people into your life, because He values friendships. There is value in having people to walk alongside life with. Mel taught me that there are different types of friendships: utility, amusement, and virtue. Virtue friends are the ones who care for your soul and likewise you care for theirs. Currently all my virtue friends are an ocean away, and it has not been easy. But this past weekend of being home has reminded my heart of how sweet it feels to be with friends.
Sunday morning at the break of dawn, my dad and I flew down to LA together. For the first time in years I boarded a flight with someone I knew. I sat next to someone I knew. It was heartwarming to know that for the first time I was not going on a journey alone.
Tuesday night I had dinner with high school friends, and though I haven’t seen them in six months it felt like we just picked up where we left off. For over an hour after finishing our food we said we would get up and leave and just ended up talking and talking. We reminisced on high school memories and wondered what everyone else in high school is currently up to. They are a part of my past that continues to be part of my present.
California might not be home anymore, but it has all the people that make me feel at home. While physical presence is important in a friendship, so is intentionality. I am lucky to have intentional friendships that don’t end because of distance. I am lucky to live in an age of technology where Skype dates and group chats help keep my friendships going. California is lucky to have so many great people all in one time zone.
My life continues to be a jumbled mess, but the hardest part about it is not having someone my age to sit with on the living room couch and pour my heart out to. I so desperately long for a virtue friend who lives in the same state and time zone as I do. In the meantime I’m going to soak up all the happiness that comes along with seeing familiar faces.