Up till today, I still don’t really know what it means to be a true friend.
I do know I want to be better one. But there are limitations, baggage, personality differences and selfishness.
The other day, a former colleague N called me out of the blue – I didn’t know her well but we always giggled a lot together during those pseudo-teambonding stuff. Laughing buddies we were, so I was surprised to hear how down she was. Turns out she actually had a minor stroke a few months ago and her health has been topsy-turvy ever since. I really felt like crying as she told me her struggles…but after a few more encouraging smses and promises to visit her at the store once she’s up and about, that’s it. That’s all I could offer.
I met a group of friends whom I felt did wrong but I know they feel they did no wrong. And so I made the rational and diplomatic decision to forgive and try to forget. It is hard. Sure, chit-chatting and reminiscing on nostalgic memories are fine. But the trust has vanished. I don’t think that would ever come back.
All of a sudden, G’s dad passed away. This is a guy who has been for me through all the down in the dumps periods of my life. Last night, he looked so helpless and forlorn…and I could do nothing (again).
I was just having a conversation with D the other day…about how some people may mistake me as “dao” when I’m being blur. But as I thought about it a bit more…I realise that yes, there are times I choose to be unfriendly and closed up, whether it is because I’m protective, shy, judgemental or just plain temperamental.
I also realise that in order for me to truly open up to people, I need to take the time to open up to myself. and having a certain level of self-awareness, which tends to disappear whenever I’m too busy or stressed. If not, it is just a farce, the “acting nice and safe” routine just to go under the radar.
But there are moments, like now, when I really long to hold the hands of the people I know that are hurting.