Last night was an exercise in frustration for me and two of my best girl pals. We used to work together in theatres but have each moved on to do other things (well I stayed, they left me! Lol) and we promised each other that we’d do all we can to stay in touch and meet up at least twice a month to catch up. This proved to be easier said than done, as we struggled to find a day when we can coordinate our schedules enough to have dinner.
I think its was my friend Susana who asked “What’s wrong with us?!” And she’s right, its incredibly frustrating to be so busy with work that you can’t even find time for gossip and girl talk. However, I also felt incredibly grateful to have formed the kind of friendship with these people that’s worth the effort of trying.
I think its easy to be friends when you share the common bond of work and have to see each other almost every day. You know you can at least have a quick chat in the coffee room at lunch. You pretty much have the same schedule so its easier to find the time to meet up. Its different when you’re all working in different fields with unpredictable schedules.
Out of sight is out of mind, as the saying goes. I thought about how easy it is to lose touch with the people who once mattered to you because you’re all busy doing different things. A friend you once talked to every day is suddenly a stranger you haven’t seen in 5 years. Someone you used to share secrets with is suddenly someone whose life you know about only because of their status updates on Facebook. You didn’t even know that your best friend from high school had given birth to her second child.
I thought about all these connections that I’ve somehow taken for granted. I want to say that I’m good at keeping in touch with all of my friends wherever they are in the world, but the truth is I’m probably less good at it than I’d like to be. I have these sporadic moments where I miss my friends, especially those I’ve known since uni days, and I take the time to have a long chat and catch up with them over Viber and FaceTime. Just last Saturday, I had a really good talk with my friend who lives in Canada and I thought to myself, why can’t I do this more often??
I suppose its only natural. Its hard enough to find time with my friends who live in the same city, let alone when you factor in time differences between countries. My best girl friends are scattered all over the world: Philippines (GMT +8), New Zealand (GMT +13), Texas (GMT -6) and Canada (GMT -7). Most of the time they’re at work when I’m going to bed and going to bed when I’m about to go to work.
Its sad but this is the reality of growing up, and more often than not, growing apart. So its really telling, the relationships that you work hard to maintain. Those are the kind of relationships where, when you do find the time to catch up, its like no time at all has passed and you fall back into the natural rhythm of your friendship. I am thankful to have those kinds of friends in my life and I would like to apologise in advance if I don’t tell you as often as I should how much I appreciate your friendship.
I guess what I’m trying to say with this small blog is that we all could do with taking the time out of our busy schedules to make sure we maintain our relationships with other people. At the end of the day, this is what will matter. Your career, your finances…when this goes to shit you will need friends who can take you out for a glass (or two, or THREE) of prosecco. So call that friend you’ve been meaning to talk to for weeks, whatsapp your friend in the States who’s just gotten married, keep in touch. Its important.