Saturday, October 08, 2005

Growing up

A recent conversation with a close friend made me realised how things have changed since the year 1999.

Remember those care-free days where we can just meet friends up after school, holidays or even during the weekends? It's strange, but life seems to revolve more around friends when i was younger. I enjoyed the getaways, the night chats, the whole of sunday spent in church doing activities, camps... ah, how i miss them. It has somehow shifted (for me anyway) now.

Growing up means more responsibilities and a change in priorities. No doubt friendships are still important but work comes first sometimes. I suppose being in the health care profession means my clients come first in many aspects as well. While in secondary school days, we were establishing and building friendships, the 20s seems to be a time where friendships are maintained. No more small talk- no time for them. Instead, it is a time where caring words and updates are exchanged. The 20s is a busy time, for most of us are establishng our careers. Understanding between friends exists and there are times where we dont have to be in contact for weeks and the bond will still remain. It was different in our teens, where the friends circle seemed to change more often than the 20s.

I dont see myself calling my friends up for coffee or drinks every week. I dont even have enough time to sleep or shower! However, i appreciate my friends who sent me smses, emails and even posting on this blog to keep in contact. I admit i am not the greatest friend of all times-afterall, when my friends are going through tough periods in their life, all i can offer is words of comfort over the phone or the net. One thing i do offer though is prayer. I do try to do my best in updating people around me (and of course to show that i am still alive). Yes, I might not keep in contact with all my closest friends every single week, but they do exists in my heart, prayers and msn messages. It is not because i dont want to spend time with my friends- of course i do. Do i not miss the coffees and the chit chats? It is just because my priorities means I have to sacrifice other things (including some of my hobbies, love life and friendships). I maintained that if God gave me this chance to be a psychologist trainee, I will do the best that i can.

My friends provided me with support and understanding throughout the past 5 years. This is my 6th year in Perth and my ever best friends stood by me through these times. Ruth, Peggy, Ben, Haz and Ting never once failed to provide me with comforting words and loving hugs even though sometimes, the only help i can offer is to cry on the phone with them. Distance matters, but it is bridged by the heart. Yes, we cannot talk to each other every other day, but that doesnt meant I have forgotten them or that they have pushed me aside. I'm sorry I cannot ring you or stay on the msn everyday with you as our journey as an young adult begins but that doesnt meant I dont love you.

With Velda- even though u are in Brisbane, I appreciate the smses, phone calls and the candid emails. They say friendships are seldom established in our undergraduate years, but I think we went against the odds.

Jon, Terence, jacq, Lingjia, Wanyi, Irene, Ivy..etc etc would constantly remind me to meet up with them when i do get back to Singapore. Trust me, I appreciate how little time we have for each other.

I'm not being biased when I say friendships are hard to maintain in our 20s. What about the other side of our lives? I think my man will tell you that when it comes to time, I would often ask him to wait while i do my assignments, write my reports or even when i write update emails to my friends occasionally.

And when my closest of all friends visited me in Perth, my time was spent on my work. Not that i do not want to be a good hostress, but my responsibilities means I have to be there for my clients. As for my man, he wasnt even allowed to talk to me as i sat in a corner in his room trying desperately to write my take home exam so that I can go over to the living room and have dinner with my closest mates who came all the way to visit. How did we communicate? He would send me an msn msg reminding me that dinner was ready.

I managed to finish most of my work on time and went on a fab trip to Rottnest Island with my friends who visited.

Even now, if we were to go on dates, it would consist of us walking in Woolworths grabbing some veges for dinner. We communicate through emails. I wouldnt say it is the lovey dating relationship that people might have when they first started a relationship but we do have respect, care, prayer and love. He entered the relationship with me knowing that he would have to would have to "wait" as I finish my work. My point being that regardless with friendships or relationships, i try my best to spend time with both. I'm not lying that this course/career has taken a toll in all my relationships, but it has also shown me how precious time is.

M priorities means I have chosen work many times over other activities. I try my best although at times, best isnt enough. I'm not finding excuses, but simply asking for my friends to have grace and love in their hearts to accept me for who I am. To support me as I continue on this journey for the next few years. What i can promise is that no one can take my friends away from my prayers and support-and it remains true that I am there for them as much as I can even though what i can offer for most times are moral and mental support.

I'm blessed-with a group of close and trusted friends, with a man who loves me for who I am and a job and career which i enjoy. That doesnt mean i dont try to maintain my friendships and relationships, instead, i'm trying to say that true friends understand and communicate. We dont need to have dozens of emails, phone calls and meetings to understand and love one another but to have a strange bond and appreciation of time when we do meet and catch up.


Thoughts said...

feeling very reflective heh?

daphne said...

yeah. A little. It is time i clear things up i think. Friendships mean alot to me, but if friends cannot accept me for who I am...then, that's not really called friendship already isnt it?

I do understand it is a 2 way process and I need to nurture the relationships too, but i'm really calling for some understanding as I struggle through my priorities.

Benji said...

"my man" huh... hehe

daphne said...

Benji, the whole entry and you only comment on the "my man" huh.. :p

Benji said...

hey.. it's me u're talking to here.. hehehe

Grace L said...

*hug* :)

daphne said...

*hugs* gracie!

wenrui said...

Relax. No need to think so much. My dad once told me, "If you've had a few real friends in life, you've lead a great life." Relax. Thinking kills the brain anyway.

daphne said...

JON!!!!!! *hugs* I havent heard from you in ages.

I'm ok. Just ruminating.

Indeed, few real friends are precious and hard to find. I'm very content-just hoping that others will be content with me (and having the knowledge that i can't please everyone).

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