The gift of friendship-A A +A
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
IN THIS so-called life we experience a lot of difficulties and face too many hurdles. Sometimes our experiences get too overwhelming that they weigh us down and take our breath away. But we know for a fact that those challenges are necessary: they make our lives worth living, our memories more precious, and our triumphs sweeter.
My life has always been full of challenges. Most of those who know me say it's a wonder how I seem to take everything in stride. I did not have an easy childhood. I had a comfortable life, yes, but emotionally my experiences were enough to cause trauma had I not been brought up in faith and a lot of love. At age 9, I witnessed my Papa shot in the head and back a few feet away from me. I did not go through any post-traumatic stress treatment (I think it was unheard of in the '80s?) and just "healed" the trauma by myself, with my family's guidance. At age 16, while the rest of my generation were basking in newfound independence after having moved out of their parents' nest for college dorms, I was heartbroken for my parents' separation and initially had no one to depend on but myself. Being raised as an only child I learned how not to depend on anybody but myself in dire situations, being the only person I can control and rely on 100% of the time.
But as I grew older and opened up to people I became blessed with friends, people who genuinely care, love and accept you for who you are. I figured out early on that I am not an easy person to deal with, but I feel so grateful for having found friends who are always there. I have a number of friends from way back elementary grades and high school - people I have no longer seen in years, but with whom I continue to communicate at times, just like we haven't lost track all those years.
And then there are my college best friends I haven't seen in ages, but with whom I had the privilege of finally bonding with over the weekend. We had a blast. It was not exactly picking up where we left off, it was like no years have passed and it felt like we were just all together a few weeks back. We reminisced about good times and bad, and heard stories we seem to have buried in our memory banks just waiting to be unearthed for a good laugh, or a sigh, depending on the circumstances (I take the fifth amendment here!). Our Davao adventure is perfect for the next couch chats, so stay tuned :).
There are also a handful of "virtual" friends I am grateful for. People whom I haven't met personally but with whom I share the same interests, with whom I can converse about some of the most important things in life without any awkwardness or shame, soul sisters who never tire of our tales and our whining, our weirdness and idiosyncrasies, but just offer smileys and comments that make us LOL.
Of course, there are those 'bestest' best friends with whom conversations about anything and nothing go on for hours in whatever medium and whatever time, or with whom silence is never uncomfortable, and faults go by unconditionally accepted.
Indeed, my life has never been an easy one. But I deal, I cope...that is how I roll. And I am immensely blessed with true friendships, among others, for which I am forever grateful.
"The best kind of friend is the one you could sit on a porch with, never saying a word, and walk away feeling like that was the best conversation you've had."
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 24, 2013.