Old friends

One of the promises I’ve made to myself this year is to catch up with 24 long-neglected friends. Since moving to New Zealand, I’ve had a poor track record of communicating with my peers. Many of us, naturally, have drifted apart because of this. This emotional distance doesn’t make me miss their company any less, though; if anything, it makes me miss them even more.

Happily, I’m right on track with my commitment – and boy, how rewarding it has been to chat with old friends!

The first catch-up I had was a four-way video call with my friends from childhood, D & Jo, as well as our college buddy, Jun. I felt so lazy before the call – I almost didn’t want to push through! But call we did, catching up on all of the lost time. We talked about all the things that spun our orbits, from our mutual friends and our personal projects, to our individual crises. I told them that I felt lonely and bereft of company. To my shock, they felt the same. We were all lonely, we realised.

Sharing our loneliness with each other, surprisingly, made me feel less alone. However, it was an irony I welcomed. Whole countries and continents separated us – New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the United States – and yet, despite this, revealing our sentiments made me feel like we were all in the same room. I was transported to our teenage years, days when we would hang out in D’s apartment, eating bags upon bags of chips while making fun of each other. Chatting with the three of them reminded me of simpler times, when company was easy and life was abundantly joyful. What a treasure our conversation was!

The second catch-up, meanwhile, was with my former colleague, Ness. Ness’ blog served as an inspiration for this site, so I thought it was high-time to ask her about how she was.

It’s not often that we get to have deep conversations that go beyond the ordinary. The conversation with Ness was nourishing: we talked about what inspired us and what we aspired to be. We discussed our personal projects, short and long-term goals, and our hopes for ourselves and for each other. We were each other’s cheerleaders. The hour and a half-long conversation itself inspired me to do more and to follow through with the goals I set for myself.

Old friends are precious because of how deeply they’re rooted to our lives. D, Jo, Jun, and Ness: they have known me long enough to understand who I am. We’ve known each other for so long that I feel comfortable talking to them about anything and everything. My old friends are part of what keep me grounded, and for that, they’re invaluable.

I’ve still got a long list of friends to call and catch up with. If four friends could make me feel this good, what more would a total of 24? I can’t wait!

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