I’ve been doing some self-reflection and evaluation after losing quite a number of friends in the past 5 years – while I reckon it’s pretty common for this to happen, I wasn’t prepared to deal with the feeling of loss and desperation. This is also one of the reasons why I’m hesitant to get to know people beyond just a meal or a cup of coffee.
When I was growing up, my friends were mostly chosen by circumstances – the ones from school, tuition classes and play dates. As I grew older, I picked my own friends based on shared interests. I’ve also come to realise how many of my friends reflect where I am in life. In college, my friends were party goers and movie buffs. When I joined the workforce, I made friends with people who are more career driven and ambitious.
Then there are friends who are more of a ‘touch and go’, the superficial ones where friendship is based out of convenience. These are the friends who don’t stay around for long because when we progress into different paths in life, the common interest (convenience) is no longer present. I should have seen this coming, as a friend who constantly talks about hitting the latest parties around town isn’t going to stick around when you’re hospitalised or when the going gets tough.
Yes, I’m greatly impacted when I lose a close friend. Because when I go into a friendship, I usually invest a lot of my time and effort – the greater the effort, the bigger the disappointment when the friendship ends. I would wonder if I ever did enough as a friend, or if there was anything I could have done to salvage the friendship. For friends of convenience, I would feel taken forgranted and stupid for not being able to see through such people.
As I moved into the corporate world and embarked on married life, a few of those friends no longer have anything in common with me. And while I tried making effort to stay in touch, it was one sided. Friendships without cultivation eventually wither and die – these friends didn’t fit into my life as they didn’t get why I couldn’t just drop everything at work for a leisurely coffee session. Or why I could no longer afford a night out three times a week.
I guess I now understand the meaning of ‘friends come and go’, and that I should be prepared to come to terms with the possibility that the friends I have now might not necessarily stick around in future. But I’m keeping my fingers crossed they would. #stayinghopeful