Maybe I should back up and explain. My name is Tyler Hannsz and, unless you count gummy vitamins and ibuprofen, I do not do drugs.
I'm having emotional withdrawal, because I just spent an incredibly wonderful weekend with wonderful people (MASC people, in case you couldn't guess) and now I'm back at Mizzou.
I love Mizzou, make no mistake. I love everything about this school (except for the price), but the people I spent my weekend with are people you just can't compare to or live up to.
I like to think that when it comes to people in the state of Missouri that are my age I am somewhat decently networked. I know a variety of people from a variety of places that went to a variety of schools and participated in a variety of things. And that's great.
However that means that a large majority of my favorite people in the world don't live in the same area as me.
For example: My best friend lives on the eastern side of the state. I spend my time living either in the middle of the state or on the extreme western side of the state. That means that on any given day we're anywhere from 120-250 miles apart (approximately). People always assume that being a good hundred or two hundred miles away from my favorite people in the world is emotionally painful or something.
I don't think I'd agree. The distance isn't painful. In fact I think the distance often times acts as a stimulant. The time I spend with these people is a million times more valuable and we don't take any of it for granted. The trip to wherever it is we're meeting is exciting and charged with energy. Every mile brings you closer to what you know is going to be a great time. It's like going a really long time without eating your favorite food. The next time you eat it it tastes like it came out of God's personal super market.
In the case of my friends there's six simple steps to our get togethers, and we follow these steps almost every time, without really meaning to.
Step 1. The journey to. This part's kind of agonizing. The driving time ranges from 2-5 hours depending on where we're meeting and where we're coming from. But the closer you get the more excited you get. You start to anticipate all the fun you're going to have and think about all the fun you had last time. This step is significantly fun if you're not the only one in the car.
Step 2. Arrival. You arrive at your destination and everyone freaks out because you haven't seen each other in however many months and you just can't handle how happy you are and you think your heart will explode because of all the bliss you're feeling.
Step 3. Experience. This is the longest stage. You're experiencing new things (and reliving old things) and creating new memories and you're just so happy to be in everyone's presence, but you're accustomed to the company now and you're not jumping up and down like a manic rabbit anymore. You create inside jokes (and to all of my lovely friends I'm just going to say the words "midget" and "orange" and let you fill in the blanks) and have a wonderful time. You're too immersed in the moment to care about anything but the here and now.
Step 4. Denial. The night before your departure back to reality (and reality is incredibly dull in comparison) everyone still has that smile on their face and everyone is still laughing so hard that they're going to cry / throw up / pee themselves or any combination of the three. But everyone also knows that we'll have to say our goodbyes in the morning and that's never a fun time.
Step 5. Departure and depression. The hard part about living so far away from your favorite people is when it's time to leave. When you have to willingly put those hundreds of miles between you and those incredible people again. You make promises to see each other again soon (April can't come fast enough at this point) and then make that quiet and slightly depressing car ride home. Every mile you put between you and the people you love hurts a little bit.
Step 6. Epiphany. But then you start to reminisce and reflect on that one stupid thing that somebody did that made everyone laugh and the epiphany hits you like a train: What you have is incredible. Almost too incredible for you to be able to fathom.
It gives you something to look forward to.
It gives you memories to reflect on when life becomes a little hellish.
People to text or call when you have good news.
People to text or call when you need support.
A reason to wake up every day and take on the world with a smile on your face and a skip in your step.
Because you appreciate the journey you've made with those people. The short amount of time you get to spend with them is what gets you through the days without them.
And the miles you travel to see them for that weekend?
It's more than worth it.
After all, the only thing between you and your friends now is time.
And you've waited before.
They're the kind of friends worth waiting for.