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  • Writer's pictureEmily Rojas

How Wordle Brought Us Closer Together

One not so secret fact about me is that I'm really just a big ol' softy. Sometimes I keep that fact hidden deep down, and sometimes (mostly, I think) it bubbles close to the surface.

When I moved away from home to go to college, I was sad. Sad is putting it lightly. My first year of college, I went home every weekend. That's not an exaggeration. When I tallied it up, I realized I spent exactly two weekends fully at my school during my freshman year. The even crazier part is that I didn't have my own car at the time, so every weekend I either hitched a ride with a friend or was picked up my my grandparents, my parents, or my boyfriend (now husband, *wink*).

I've written at length about my mom and dad, so you already know by now how great I think they are. Of course I missed them when I went off to parts unknown (aka Cleveland, TN). But I also love Atlanta, a fact which anyone who lives within 50 miles of Chattanooga can't seem to comprehend. And I love my family, who mostly all still live in the Atlanta area.

But I settled in to Tennessee (as much as one can settle here when you're used to a city with decent sushi and more than one authentic taqueria.) By my second year, I didn't go home quite as much. I made friends. And I've lived here ever since I was 18, with the exception of summers in college and two weeks after graduation when I slept on a twin mattress in the hallway outside my parents' room. That's a story for another time.

I was mostly okay with that, I mean, Chattanooga is close enough and I can make it home for weekends and concerts. But then both of my brothers annoyingly moved within walking distance of my parents, and that makes Chattanooga feel so much further away.

I've never really talked to my brothers about this, so maybe they're reading it here for the first time, but the thought of how close they all live together does sometimes make me feel sad. It's more like a happy sad, because I'm so happy when I see them making plans to meet up or hanging out on a random week night, but sad because I would be there in minutes too, if I could.

Okay so you're here because you saw the title, and you've gotten this far and you're wondering how Wordle plays into this. Fair enough, here's how.

Before Wordle, we never had a family group chat. I know a lot of families have group messages, but ours just didn't. Until Wordle.

I don't remember when it started exactly, but my older brother, Blake, who is an early adopter of almost everything, brought up this new game he'd been playing. We all started discussing and comparing scores, and soon we were texting them to each other every day. Luke, my younger brother, doesn't even play Wordle but he's still in the group somehow. And what was first just a place for six rows of colorful tiles is now a place to share our lives.

Blake just sent a picture of the dinner he made. Luke sent a picture of the sunset. They're planning to hang out later this week, I'm sending updates from the new home I just moved into last year.

It's a small thing, I know, but it's everything to me.

When my grandfather died, several years ago now, I remember the thought striking me, clear as day. I used to think I wanted to travel far away, live abroad or across the country. But I remember then thinking, I can travel all I want, but I don't want to live too far away from these people. The memories that I grew up with of spending at least one day a week, maybe more, at my grandparents' house growing up are priceless to me now. The relationship I got to have with my grandfather before he was gone meant everything to me. I know I feel that same way about all of my family, and all of the memories I'm still making with them one day too.

I'm not saying that's the right thing to feel, or you're a bad person if you live far from family, so please don't read it that way. It just means, for me, living as close as possible is a priority. And I will always cherish the times we get to spend all together.

My immediate family wasn't always this close. There have been times of physical and emotional distance between us all, for many reasons. So now that they're all so close in proximity, it feels like an ache in my chest sometimes.

But I love that little group chat. It never would have started without Wordle, a silly game that, yes, we still send each other almost every day. I think there's something special about that catalyst that has brought another small joy into my life.

I could write 10,000 blog posts about what my brothers mean to me, and how truly incredible and special I think they both are. But Luke told me he'd have to stop reading my blog if I kept up the tearjerkers, so I'll save it for another day. I just want to say how grateful I am to have been born into this family. How lucky I feel to know both Blake and Luke, just as human beings. And how much I miss them when I'm not there, how much I wish I could always be there.

So keep sending your random pictures to your sisters! Find an excuse to start your own family group chat, if you don't have one already. And know that you never really know where something can lead, even something as random as Wordle.

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