Recently, an old friend got in touch out of the blue.
It’s awkward. We haven’t spoken for at least a year, if not years and then some. I actually can’t remember the last time our conversation had any impact in my life. Actually, it’s been so long ago I’d seen this friend in person I’d completed forgotten the times we sat together for lunch when we’re still in high school.
Because you’re supposed to sustain some sort of long term contact with people, yes?
According to my parents, it’s definitely a yes.
I actually got a lecture for not going to the dinner this said friend invited me to (the most recent time she tried anyways).
But all I saw was a waste of time.
Keeping that old friend might be easy for some, but the same cannot be said about me. Friendship is a two way street – sharing is needed, caring is the unsaid rule. I realized – the people you actually want to keep in contact with, even if they’re far, you’d be more inclined to bother via some form of messaging service, if not Skype or FaceTime. No one ice or drop people when they matter.
So I guess, somewhere along the line, we both decided – the friendship didn’t matter.
Still, I tried my best to follow along what she was saying out of politeness.
And then I realized, what it was.
She wanted advice. She wanted tips. She wanted… ‘how do you do this, what do you suggest I do…since you’ve done XYZ. HELP!’
No, ‘how’s life…it’s been so long.’
Wasn’t that common courtesy? Or did I just become Google, Quora or Reddit, or was she too self absorbed to notice she was actually talking to someone, rather than operator on LiveChat there to answer your questions 24/7?
I noticed how awkward the conversation became, one word answers from me.
Even that, I thought I was wasting my own time.
I haven’t seen this person, well in fact, the other time they invited me to something I politely declined out of sheer laziness. And I like to say, I’m not lazy. I’m quite aware, laziness is just another word for being not high enough on my priority list. I already know how far apart we are – the only commonality is – we were somewhere at the same place, at the same time – the entire time, we were different. We only grouped because there’s safety in numbers. It was High School.
Should I feel sad that this was what the friendship became?
I believe in personal growth. I believe in going after what you want. I believe figuring things out on your own and not letting many people into your space. I do realize, the older I get the harder it is I let people into my life – so that’s saying the actual friends, who share the same goals, same vision, same attitude are probably the best people I’ve ever met.
Real friends are the ones that lift you up higher and believe in you even though they’re 7000 miles away and yet still stay up to talk to you despite the wacky timezones. The ones you can’t wait to announce every good news to. The ones that you encourage when they’re down. The ones that really left an impression and you don’t even need the small talks for – the ones you can’t wait to pick their brains for new ideas just to see how their ideas might activate your ideas. The ones you make memories with. The ones you can’t wait to see every single time.
The ones that you’ll probably drop everything and run to the airport for. How many people out of the 7.3 billion would you do that for?
Think. Who really matters?