After all these years, I found myself suddenly running out of things to talk about with a close friend.
It’s really not my business but she is after pursuits whose value and worth I question and do not believe in. One example – a certificate in a subject that is clearly not her forte. That she actually signed up for the course threw me for a loop. I find it hard to support that. I have given up proffering advice because most people have made up their minds about what they want to do anyway and will plunge ahead regardless of what others say. You can’t throw a bunch of people together, put them through the paces and transform them into what they are not. There’s such a thing as natural flair and what-have-you. And there’s more – she has accepted an invitation to be a guest lecturer at an MBA school…some guts she has. That much I can say. As I thought through the possible topics with her, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of trepidation.
Is she desperate and is now grasping at straws to get noticed so that she’ll land a plum job? I worry for her.
And always running around to rendezvous with others the moment I’m out of sight. This eats into the time we have allocated for our joint ventures. I’m also often frustrated by the speed with which she responds to my WhatsApp or text messages. A lot of times she is distracted, and cannot retain information, making me wonder if she really listens.
She seems to have a rather busy social life too! One eating session after another. What a social butterfly.
Oh my. Eat, eat, eat…so many reasons to eat, and eat and eat some more, all in the name of celebrating this or that.
That’s one reason why I absolutely refuse to visit social media sites.
All the time, mindless tweets about what people eat. Facebook plastered with food porn. How people stuff their faces makes me want to puke. Just looking at those food photos people post makes me feel fat.
Aren’t these people aware of how disgustingly fat their already bloated bodies look?
We doth eat way too much, methinks.
It’s really not my business what others do with their lives.
It’s just that as a bystander, it’s sometimes awfully difficult to watch the things people do. Especially when you care for them.
Just to set the record straight, I have the utmost respect, and great affection, for this friend. If she’s reading this, she has to understand that this is NOT a criticism of her.
But I admit she gets on my nerve sometimes.
My irritation could also be triggered by the state – and stage – of life I find myself in right now. Yes, it may sound like a cliché but this is actually more about me than about her as in “It’s NOT you honey, it’s me.”
I have reached a certain phase of my life. While others are still running around like headless chickens, or trying to change the world, I on the other hand am quite ready to settle down to a long, inactive period of somnambulance.
Retreating from the sound and fury.
Been there, done that; wore all those T-shirts.
So now, I’m opting for a silent existence.
What I need is to relax in a hammock in some barrio in Michoacán!
Keeping a low profile.
Why talk so much unless you can improve the silence?
That explains the dichotomy between my friend and I.
How can we ever connect again?
Clearly, our paths have diverged.
What brought us together in the first place?
Gosh, we couldn’t have been more different. One believes in the overly-exaggerated benefits of aromatherapy, (it can make a menopausal woman pregnant, can you believe that?) and is into crystal healing, past lives, body works, (your body hurts due to past trauma and that pain can be massaged away through touch therapy, yeah right), some crazy Yoga that can make those with broken spines walk again, Tibetan Buddhism and exorcist lamas, organic food, avocado, bird nest soup and cherries, and me? I’m not a believer of any of those hocus-pocus. I like to think I possess common sense and can detect a con artist when I see one. I’m a skeptic at heart. Do people even pause to think and to wonder how ridiculous they can sound to the rest of us who are sound?
Over time, things change. Or has my tolerance threshold been decreasing with the passage of time?
Like everything else, friendships undergo transformation too.
The old magic is gone.
It’s profoundly sad.
But it’s part of life, isn’t it?
People move on.
You might have been soulmates and bosom pals in the past – or even husband and wife in a past life, if you believe that kind of thing – but now there’s nothing to talk about.
Awkward silence permeates the atmosphere.
Small talk just to break the silence.
Silence so thick you can cut it with a knife.
Silence so quiet you can hear the proverbial pin drop.
To break the discomfort, people are forced to talk.
What’s the point?
For this reason I’ll caution those who wish to re-connect with old friends, thinking they can bring back the old feeling.
With the Internet, it’s so easy nowadays, isn’t it?
But if you think you can rekindle that old flame, think again.
It doesn’t always work that way. The few times I managed to reconnect with old pals, I wished I hadn’t. The unpleasant experiences far outweigh the pleasant ones.
Sometimes it’s best to just let sleeping dogs lie.
It is better to remember to hold onto – and reminisce over – the pleasurable memories of the past, than to let the present realities get you down.
Didn’t BF Skinner say that people learn by suffering the consequences of their actions? Well, learn the hard way if you must. Go look for and reconnect with old pals if you must.
With the passage of time, friends change.
It can be disheartening and discouraging.
But there are always new friends you can make.
New people in your life.
And new worlds to conquer. New places to see. New things to do.
Yes, there’s more to life than what we’ve experienced so far.
We have a whole life ahead of us and there will be many sunshine-filled days.
One more thing about being friends with members of the opposite sex is that it can get complicated, what with potentially possessive or non-understanding spouses and all. Not everyone believes in platonic relationships.
Men shave and women Botox.
Vive la difference!
Let it be.
Whatever will be will be.
Que sera sera.
“It is silly to go on pretending that under the skin we are all brothers. The truth is more likely that under the skin we are all traitors, liars, assassins, and hypocrites.”
– Henry Miller