My friends–a varied bunch they are–have all given me crazy insight on life and have all helped keep me grounded in their own ways. Let me just pay homage to these amazing people.
THE SCHOOL ACQUAINTANCES
I’m the type of person who, as a young kid, stayed at home most of the time, my nose buried in books or my head in the clouds. So when I say “school acquaintances,” I refer to the friends I made when I started going to school. They’re all out and about in the different corners of the world and living large. There are times when I find myself going green with envy when I see their pictures: vacations in exotic places, drinks in trendy bars, sumptuous food in high end restaurants, chill moments with their significant others and children. It made me think of myself as a relative loser.
And then I kick myself.
I wasn’t and am not a loser. Sure I wish I could travel as extensively as these people, but then I remember that I actually love what I am doing. How many people can say that for themselves? It is not glamorous–teaching–but I don’t think I’d trade it for anything else. The most I’d do is probably take time off to go on a sabbatical ala Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love, but that’s it.
These childhood friends have shown me to appreciate my own life even now that we keep in touch only through social media.
THE HIGH SCHOOL FRIENDS
My high school friends made up my first real barkada, the closest translation for which would probably be clique. They made me laugh, they shared my tears, they knew me in my frizzy hair geeky days and accepted me. They’ve all been able to meet up and keep in touch out of high school and college because they all live near each other. I, on the other hand, have to content myself with social media. I love the fact that they still invite me even though they know I most likely won’t be able to attend. I love them, for they were the first to accept my crazy and corny and drama.
These girls are my college friends, the ones I met during registration (aka enrollment) and bonded with throughout our four years in university. I got to try new things with them and because of them. We keep in touch until now, with daily chats on mobile chatting platforms allowing us to feed our need to rant and rave and just to ask, “How are you?” They are the ones who made me realize that it was okay to be crazy and corny and dramatic. They are the ones who called me out when I was out of line, the ones who held my hand when I cried and said words that I needed to hear and held off on the harsher ones till I calmed down. They were the ones who, until now, teach me so many things: from cooking to working to dating to relationships to sex to childbirth to motherhood to patience.
I love that we regularly stay in touch and still meet up at least once a month, with the exception of one of our friends who migrated to the US. Our friendship has lasted through more than a decade of tears and laughter and vomit, and I consider myself exceptionally lucky to have these girls in my life.
My relationship with these girls whom I met at work started out rocky because we got embroiled in some sticky drama none of us wanted to be in. We weren’t in conflict with each other, but at one point I had begun to think if it was actually a good idea to remain friends with people who had trouble following them. As the girl who lived life on the safe side, this was strangely new territory for me, and I got scared. On the flipside, they also pushed me to my limits and dared me to explore things that the world had to offer. I took vacations without my family, I began to work out, I tried new food (and discovered great restaurants all around the metro) and new things (surfing, anyone?). If the Fluffs opened my eyes to a whole new world, these girls got me immersed in that new world, and for that I am thankful.
Just like the Fluffs, the Cheren girls and I still meet up regularly, albeit less so. We get together a minimum of twice a year for birthdays: once in May and another in December, but if we can help it, we squeeze in a dinner or two throughout the year. We’ve yet to go on that big beach vacation we’ve all wanted to go on together, but I’ve a feeling it’s going to become reality very soon.
THE BOOK CLUB
My first thought is: I DON’T HAVE A PIC OF ALL OF US TOGETHER.
My second thought is: We’re long overdue for a book club meeting.
My third thought is: I miss these girls. They feed my passion and hunger for literature, never mind that the literature I crave for ranges from classical canon to chick lit guilty pleasures. These girls make me feel like it’s okay to read even the ones that universities snub because they’re not “literary enough.”
What do I say about the guys? Well, my friendships with the males leave much to be desired. I usually stick with the girls, so when it comes to cultivating friendships with the gents, I tend to be on the reserved side.
However, I HAVE been able to develop and maintain great relationships with a few guys, half of them being former students who became close friends when they entered college and the work force.
So. These two guys know me as the crazy kulot with a temper. I think. I don’t know. What I do know is that these are two of the greatest guys who have ever walked this planet.
Then there are the former students aka officially the craziest on this list. I won’t name them because… I want to keep them to myself. First, there’s Dark Lord. He’s no evil guy. He’s “dark” because he’s almost always in black, and he exudes this mysterious air. And he’s a “lord” because this guy here is the most patient and most respectful guy in the world, and my heart bleeds for him whenever he talks about his hurts. On the other hand, I am happy when he talks about his happy moments because you can actually hear the smile in his voice, and I am proud of how far he’s come. He is now officially more talkative than me. :))
Then there’s the Kada, particularly the Yogi and Sulmeyt. I think I just got dragged into their Kada because I’m BFFs with Cla, who seemed to be their Queen Bee at one point. I’m not complaining about how I became friends with these guys because the Yogi has been a constant source of laughs and insight and fashion tips and drunk texts. Sulmeyt, when we first met, was this bright young 6th grader who loved to write. Instantly I felt a connection with this guy especially when he asked me to read one of his fics (and it was a lemon AND I WAS SHOCKED). But his writing chops impressed me and our friendship grew from there. When he graduated, he kept in touch and he remains one of the closest student-friends I have.
Last but not the least is the guy who asked me to include him here for reasons unknown. Ever since his student days The Aspirant has wanted to do so many things in his life, and it actually is a bit inspiring to know someone so ambitious and well-rounded at the same time. Perhaps the downside is he has his moments of insecurity and is therefore afraid of going after the things he wants like being able to perform in front of a crowd (something he’s done in his high school days but not recently, I think). The few things he’s gone after include many things I’d rather not mention here, but what I WILL share here is that he’s remained a gentleman in spite of the many times he’s nagged me about all things from shoes to books to music. 🙂
These fabulous gentlemen have reminded me that there still are good guys in this world. 🙂
I have different sets of friends, as I’m sure people do, and all I can say now is that these beautiful people deserve every bit of happiness the world has to offer. 🙂