Friendships come easy to some people. It’s fascinating how some people just have the gift of the gab for approaching complete strangers and somehow leaving with numbers, smiles and promises to catch up over drinks someday.
I, on the other hand, have struggled with this since high school. Being bullied, ostracised and made to feel like I never belonged, I am now somewhat guarded and reserved in person, and it takes time for me to warm up to people. In an extrovert’s world where everything is about whom you know and how well you know ’em, this can be a disadvantage (especially in a field like lifestyle journalism!).
As we get older and our time is occupied by things like family and commitments, it is natural for some friends to simply … drift apart. I’ve never been a social butterfly with a big group of friends, but the few I have kept, I treasure. I have also learnt that time is not always a determinant for good friendships, and that relationships can be fluid. I met one of my closest friends at my last workplace, where we were colleagues. Another close friend I have known since I was 13, but only became really close after high school, and one I was close to in high school but has since drifted apart. There’s also my ‘bro’ who migrated to the States (have not seen him for a decade), but still calls to wish me Happy Birthday every year. We don’t talk much, but when we do, we pick up right where we left off – it’s as if nothing has changed.
There was a time where I expected my friends to be perfect friends, which they are, of course, not. Nobody is. Even lovers fight and disagree, what more friends? One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to let go of the hurt and betrayal I’ve carried and not project it onto my friendships. If all else fails, live, let go and wish them all the best.
Life’s too short for regrets.