The human heart was—and remains—a mystery to me. But I’m learning. I have to. —Anthony Bourdain

To friends, food and drink

I was very fortunate this weekend to be able to have spent time with 3(!) great friends from different places and one of them brought up something that made me think. She said, she had come to think about friends she’s lost along the way, what happened, was it her fault, and her attempts to fix it. And I guess I have gone through some of the same process every so often. Working the night shift, and working from home tends to put you in a bubble. While it is very convenient, it also makes things quite difficult in terms of your social life. There is no casual “Let’s grab a coffee on our next break”, or that shared elevator conversation right before you leave for home. Friendships, in my almost decade working from home, need work. It’s like any other relationship, if you don’t tend to it, either it, 1. flourishes by itself but can tend to be quite the surface-y type things that don’t really take root, 2. falls away, 3. evolves into something quite different.

I have some friendships that are amazing and just pick up where they leave off at any time, but the rarity of these come with growing up together. My friends from grade school, we tend to see each other at most 2-3 times a year, but we won’t hesitate to take a weeklong trip together or go to a foreign country with 1 room and 1 bathroom. The advantage of this friendship is that they’ve known me from preschool and while we didn’t share adolescence together, we’re never too far apart to pick up a pen and write in the 90s, to email in the 00s, and now, messaging each other so often.

But I digress (I DO THIS A LOT). I have a group of friends that I may never forgive myself for letting fall away when it became emotionally difficult to see them. I let someone else dictate my life and while there is blame to share, I take full responsibility for this friendship to have fallen away.

I have a few friendships that I have been tempted to be more upfront with, when you see friends do stuff to themselves that your gut tells you will not be good for them, your instinct is to tell them off and give them “The Talk”. The thing is, when someone doesn’t want to hear it, they won’t listen. They’ll do it anyway and resent you for the things you said about it, and you’ll most likely end up just being that condescending friend that they avoid until their situation is good again, and I don’t want to be that friend. My philosophy now is to be there for people, even when it’s difficult to shut up. Especially when it’s difficult to shut up and slap them silly to wake up. Of course when they’re breaking laws and causing other people pain, it will be good to say something constructive and not just critical, but my current mindset is “Walang basagan ng trip.” (Loosely translates to, “Let people be.”

I am quite grateful (here I am again with Mondays and gratitude) to have been able to spend the time and hang out with people that I love. And as I keep saying, I am fiercely loyal to friendships and can be quite protective of the people in my circles. And for that I apologize when I go overboard, but also thank the universe for letting me feel this connected to the people I love.

When was the last time you hung out with a good friend?


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