Thursday, September 08, 2005

Welcome Back Again Friends

I recently got back from a whirlwind trip to Manila. Its been almost a year since I was last there and this time, I went there as a "single" woman. It was the first time I went on a trip on my own since Sam was born.

I was filled with excitement and apprehention when I arrived in Manila. I was excited because I had not seen my friends in a long time. And this time, I intended to really do some catching up since I won't be distracted with Sam. Which led to my apprehention, since I didn't know whether I still fitted into my friends' lives back in Manila.

Throughout my life, I've gained and lost a ton of friendships. Each time I think this would be the keeper, something happens and they or I move on. At the back of my head, I keep thinking when the next loss will happen and how am I going to deal with it this time. Although I was not consciously thinking of this issue at the time, I'm sure its partly where my apprehention lay when I met up with my friends during this trip. As always, I noted whether we were all still on the same wave length, whether we had anything in common, whether they still found me funny, whether the conversation will flow smoothly, etc. I couldn't help being overly conscious about the whole "catching up" thing. But by the end of my trip, I realized I was worried about nothing. I actually felt relieved that things felt even better than when I had first left Manila.

I then received a text from a friend back in HK. She needed someone to talk to about some friends she was loosing hold of. After having a good chat with her since I got back, it made me realize a few things about friendships and how conditional it all seems.

It suddenly occured to me that the reason why I felt better about my friends in Manila was because we had all suddenly reached the same points in our lives. When I first left Manila to come to HK, most if not all of my friends had drifted away. They were physically there, but the connection I had had with them back in our college days were no longer there. During my wedding, it was not the fun filled evening I had dreamed it would be. Everyone had different priorities, and I certainly was not one of them. After Hong Kong, I almost fully expected to see all of them dissappear into the horizon. I was ready to take out my tissue box again and wipe away a few more tears and move on.

So when I met up with them this time, the conversations flowed and the connection seemed to have reached for that super glue. I now realize friendships are such controvertial relationships. Are we friends because we have a bond? Or are we friends because we took the time to become friends? Or are we friends because we just so happen to be there at the same time? And do we remain friends simply because we had already taken the time to be as such? Or do we remain friends because I simply enjoy your company?

At least with this trip I've figured out why I'm friends to those I've reconnected to back home. We reconnected because I've finally caught up with them. I wish there was more reason I could give, but simply knowing why I'm friends to these people has made me accept what had happened in the past and hopefully what may happen in the future. I just wish I could figure it out as well for all the other friendships I had lost.


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