The biggest hurdle of being an adult is to consistently connect with your friends from school and those whom you’ve made along the way. They’ve become important to us because we’re so attached to memories while wishing that everything would stay the same. A large part of that expectation and disappointment come from our attachments to the ideal version of them in our heads – the past version of them whom we had known from the last time we met them. Unfortunately, circumstances change constantly and people do, too.
And the hardest part of being an emotional being is to deal and adapt with changes.
As an introvert, I am guilty of being the last to initiate and try to reconnect with people whom I am rarely in contact with. It always seems to be my fault when people would start drifting away from me, because I can only change myself and not my friends.
There are those who chose to drift apart and not be a part of my life anymore, and I’ve reconciled with that fact. The reality is you can’t force yourself to bond with those whom you thought hadn’t changed, and had stayed the same. Maybe you don’t click as much anymore and there’s nothing wrong with that. But that doesn’t mean you pretend that they don’t exist anymore.
I have friends whom I’d only meet once a year or worse, once in a few years but we hadn’t changed our friendly feelings for each other, because we genuinely enjoy each other’s company. Our conversations had evolved but some things are still the same. I have friends whom I haven’t seen for a long time but we send postcards to each other and still talk to each other online occasionally. Then, there are those whom I have only crossed paths with at random times and we’d still recognise each other’s existence as there had been no hard feelings to begin with.
We dismiss our thoughts on why the other hasn’t initiated anything or why we haven’t talked in a while. We all have our own responsibilities and priorities to cater to. And one of the biggest mistakes that we often do when good friends go is when we become too fearful to initiate contact. We fear that our efforts wouldn’t be appreciated. And not being recognised for our efforts would leave us in a vulnerable spot, which in turn will hurt our pride.
But we must give people the benefit of the doubt (husnodzon’), especially when our assumptions are based merely on your thoughts and nothing else. Perhaps, there is more to their side of the story more than meets the eye.
When it comes to a relationship – from the friendly ones to the romantic – you just have to make as much effort as you can. You’ll be surprised at how ludicrous your assumptions had been in the beginning and found that they had missed you as much you’ve missed them. So, when you start missing your friends, you should make things happen instead of waiting around for someone to initiate something. We make our friendships work when we still care about them.
But when the relationship feels like it’s not worth the effort, then just let go and forgive. Moments and events happened. Detach. It’s emotionally painful but it’s not the worst thing in the world.
Make full use of this festive season. Eid just happens to be one of the times when we are given more than enough reason to reconnect. This is probably the only time when you have that extra time and motivation to catch up. It’s time to put aside some differences and share the love. And to all those have initiated, thank you!