It might be stupid to treat this platform as an open journal, but maybe ‘mistakes’ like this will lead to some helpful cracks, even if it is for one person.
I recently learned that my best friend from high school had married. Due to the university I chose and other life choices, some may be called bad ones, we didn’t stay in contact. I had hoped, that big life events would lead to some form of communication. But I also firmly believed, maybe even a few hours ago, that there are almost 8 billion people on this planet, I can find friends anytime. Quite wrong.
Thoughts like this lingered in the back of my mind for a long time. My friend circle is very international, even though I live in an Eastern European country where this is not the norm. But when I want to attend an event, I don’t always have friends that live in the same city as I do. Don’t get me wrong, every turn I took thus far in my life, led me to amazing people that I would never trade-in. My best friend, who I call sister and my brightest star, is the result of one of my past choices. But I have to admit that it does get lonely once or twice.
And then I remember a particular scene in the third Men in Black movie, where K counters to J that not sugar, but regret, is the most destructive force in the universe. And I agree.
Because I do regret not making the effort to stay in contact. Not making the effort to attend events and be present. Instead, I chose to go to other events or just stay home, because I didn’t want to meet some people that I wasn’t close with during the years. I decided to pull back from everybody, even the people I was close with.
So if you take away anything from this introspection, let it be this. Yes, factually you are right. There are almost 8 billion people on this planet. But no, you cannot just build lasting friendships with any one of those whenever you wish. You cannot live in the spirit of ‘I don’t need them.’
Appreciate your true friends when they are present. Make the smallest of efforts and it will pay off infinitely. You don’t want to look back at the photos where you were practically attached at the hip, and now realize that only by accident did you find out they got married a couple of days ago.
You want to be able to tell your sister, anytime, that you miss the weird sound they make when they hiccup because it is so unique and endearing, it makes you grateful for every ‘bad choice’. You want to be able to call your friend and ask about their cricket match and how their parents are back in India because you care and you know they do as well. Or just ask another friend if they worked on new paintings for their portfolio, because you love their work and want to tell the world about it.
It was a hard lesson for me, but now I make the effort. It is the only cure against the most destructive force of the universe. But friendships like the ones I have now, are worth every effort.