After four years, my good friend friend Adele and I finally met again, like the old days.
She was attending Muni's zero-waste lifestyle meetup this afternoon in Makati, and since my Saturday morning was free anyway, we thought we should meet over coffee. (The coffee part was actually a surprise for her since, unlike her, I was never a big fan of coffee. Frankly, I still am not the expert on it, but I've realized that mornings are much easier to survive with a cup or two.)
It's not as if we've never had any free time over the past four years. I would admit that I could've easily gone all the way to Quezon City just to see her--I've been in her part of town a couple of times over the past four years, and I could've just messaged her and set up dinner. She probably thought the same way whenever she was in Makati for an event or two.
But we never did.
The point is: it's okay.
Maybe that's growing up: you become okay that your friends and loved ones live separate lives, and you realize that the true test of your relationship is how you will always have something to go back to when you meet again, whenever that may be.
When I saw her again, I felt genuinely happy just talking to an old friend--finding ourselves sharing what has transpired in our lives all those years we've never seen each other. We may have gone through a lot of different experiences apart, but somehow, we know how to come back to our familiar place/space.
It's not the same with all of our friends. Some have grown distant, and some have grown away from our direction. Some relationships we've learned to let go of, if only because they have become unhealthy for us. We mourn some of them; some of them, we cheerfully cut out.
I celebrated my birthday this week thinking about the connections I've had over the past three decades, and realized how I've managed to survive a lot of things I've never thought I would've survived, with the help of people around me.
(Not to say that my life has been supremely difficult: I know many others who have experienced harsher things than I have, and I would say that life has been generally kind, despite the anxiety and depression I battle with at times.)
I'm thankful for the people who have helped me go through the slumps and pits. Often I wonder what I have done to deserve all the help I've received in life.
I am very lucky. I know I'm not exactly the easiest to get along with, and I could be awkward and weird at times. But despite how I am, there are people who choose to put up with me and try to understand me. There are people who believe in what I can do and who I can be.
Some of those people I haven't been very kind to, if only because I didn't know any better. I've been a jerk (that's one thing I learned a few birthdays back.)
So what am I trying to say, really?
I guess what I sincerely want to say is: sorry and thank you. I'm sorry if, at one point in your life, I've made you feel awful, or I've caused unnecessary hurt to you. I'm also thankful that you have shared a part of your life with me.
I hope that when we meet again, we'll find that place of familiarity too, no matter how long it has been since we've seen each other. I hope that we'll discover the good we have done to each other's lives, and share the lessons we have learned. I hope that we will find ourselves in better circumstances.
Until then. 😃
HELLO, MY NAME IS EVAN TAN.
I'm a writer and communications professional based in Manila, Philippines. Outside of my regular job, I like to travel, work out, volunteer, watch movies and plays, go to art galleries/ fairs and museums, read books, and eat vegetarian food.
More about me here.