Just when I felt like writing about friendship, I had déjà vu moment thinking perhaps I had done this before, and indeed I had.
Perhaps the “friendship problem” plagues everyone. We used to spend so much time together, and now we hardly have time for each other; worse still that we have nothing to share with each other as we no longer “live together”. We can hardly live without them, yet we hardly put them in the first place.
I used to think we would find our best and longest lasting friend in our secondary school, but my perception kinda changed slightly: I no longer feel the close knit, as I don’t quite know what to chat about and I don’t anything much beyond their official job description. Perhaps I lose out in maintaining our relationship through CNY reunion, as I already move out from our hometown; and the only contact I have with them is probably through wedding dinner (and I didn’t attend all of them). Slowly but surely, everything eventually felt more comfortable in memory, but not in reality. The distance is very real, and I felt it a lot. The same goes for ex-colleagues, what once seems so close had gotten so far. The only comfort is that it’s never forgotten, hopefully for eternity.
I am not quite sure what I hope for, and what I can do about it. It’s just a feeling of sadness, sad because it is no longer there. On one side I felt that it’s a natural progression, as we move on to a new chapter of our life and we meet new people. On the other side, I felt something wrong with the natural progression, yet I am not quite sure what can I do to make it better. I don’t look for them, and they don’t look for me, and everyone is occupied with their new life, and we don’t share the same things we used to anymore, except for our memory.
For out of some odd reason, we visited Christine in Hong Kong, a friend I knew through my KK trip many years back. In the beginning we have a lot to talk to each other, but then the conversation kinda faded; then she came to our wedding and became our MC, together with Terrence and Joanne. Then the friendship is “re-ignited”, or at least we found some interesting common topic again. I do feel the relationship is kinda special and fated in many ways with is logically, not quite possible. Perhaps her characteristic had a big role to play in it, where during my last visit I learned that she did indeed manage to maintain very close relationship with many of her old friends until today (we are talking about 20+ years of friendship and still going out together once in a while). I do envy their relationship and closeness, and wonder how they manage to keep close. Perhaps they meet up every weekend for Sunday sermon, but many church goers I know didn’t manage to achieve that as well. Perhaps it’s the close knitted society of Hong Kong, or perhaps she is really a people person with a lot of free time in her hands. But I do believe the magic lies with her.
Perhaps I am just too cool of a guy who didn’t invest much to maintain a relationship which is no longer convenient; or waiting for others to make the first step to “re-ignite” the relationship. I do take the friendship by heart, just that not sure how to make it “work” as I wish it would be. I know we are all busy with more personal and work engagement, but I wish I have some of Christine’s magic. As a consolation prize, at least I still manage to attend some wedding dinners, a CNY dinner session, hiking with them, and the really very occasional Yum Cha session.