After an intense kickboxing session where you actually feel good getting bruised, and getting off a 45 min phone call with someone I’d call a friend, I got fully inspired to pen down this post.
There are people who enter your life, people you thought you’d be friends with till the very end. These are the friends you bawled your eyes out for at graduations, and when you left your jobs. You promised to always keep in touch, and you actually meant it.
The funny thing about time and age is that the older you get, the more at peace you become with the fact that friendships, in real life, do not last forever. In fact, you may even walk past a person who once used to mean everything to you and you wouldn’t have even stopped to say hi.
Yes, that’s the current version of reality. And many a times, I grapple with the fact that I now no longer say, ‘s/he is my friend.’ I simply say: Oh, I know that person. The sadder truth being that I wouldn’t count more than 5 people as my friends at any one point in time.
It’s like relationships stop growing and start regressing the moment you leave the community where you once shared common space. The ones who you still keep in contact with years after years through thick and thin, yes, you’re a friend.
However, at nights like these I can’t help but experience that feeling where you just know that memories are lurking in a song that you hear, a particular place you walked by, or a scent that holds the key to a moment in time you can’t quite place your finger on.
Case in point: hearing Dashboard Confessional’s Hands Down brought back memories of a friend whom my 19-year-old self was rollerblading with at 3:00AM, cause the bruises we earned then was a badge to our friendship. Or sitting down by the sidewalk where your co-founder spent countless nights with you as you brainstormed and sometimes cried out of frustration.
Or simply just getting off the phone with a friend that you know you’re silly to even think you can hold on to that moment in time – because at that moment you knew she changed your life in a certain, specific way which you needed it to.
So what do you do? The best way I’ve learnt is to treat everything as an experience. The feeling that you once had something you wanted to hold on to for the rest of your life. Like stepping off the train in Edinburgh for the first time, or entering The Sistine Chapel… You don’t blame yourself (or them) if you don’t return to that same shared experience, or intense feelings. You just treasure it as something you’ve once thoroughly experienced.
That’s how I sometimes like to view friendships: cherishing each moment of shared wisdom, an irrational laughter, and that moment where you actually felt like that someone gets-you gets you. Perhaps also coming to terms with the idea that it may come and someday go, and it’s still all going to be okay.