Why I've lost friends.

8:40 PM

Friendship. According to Wikipedia, friendship is defined as a relationship of mutual affection between people. It's something so beautiful, yet so scary at the same time. In regards to that, I'll go into more details later on in the post.

Friendship in a nutshell...

It's scary how someone who was once close with you, can end up being an acquaintance, if not, a stranger. Friendships start from doing the same activity and develop from sharing a mutual interest. A friendship is then maintained with effort from both parties, checking in on each other every once in a while, and catching up on life whenever possible. On top of that, support, love and care is provided over the time and duration of the friendship. Without any of this, one will feel distant. Which explains the transition from a friend to a stranger.

As much as I invest my time, effort and love into my relationship, I do the same for my friendships. That explains why I often get hurt emotionally, since it ends up being a one sided affair. I mourn the loss of the friendship, and this loss occupies and sticks to the back of my mind. It makes it worse when I get random flashbacks of our good memories together. Reminiscing only hurts even more than it should. When most of us were kids, I bet we used to use the phrase 'friends forever' impulsively. I know I did. When I moved from Singapore to Australia, my Primary School friends promised me that we would be friends forever, and that distance wouldn't matter. For the first year, I truly believed in it.

But after a few years of living in Perth, it was evident that our friendship wasn't the same. As much as I attempted to make an effort to keep in touch, the other party wouldn't keep up with it. In Primary School, I used to have a paper with a list of my classmates' details (full name, index number, phone number and address), and would send them letters in a bid to maintain our friendship. Just so you know, Facebook didn't exist then. Some would reply to my mail, while others wouldn't respond to it at all. Heck, I didn't even know if they had received it. That was how I lost a handful of friends, with no fault of my own.

Whenever I would visit Singapore, I could only stay for a short period of time. You see, I no longer had a home in Singapore; my parents had sold the condominium a few years after our migration. Therefore, I couldn't stay for long as I couldn't afford accommodation for such a long period of time. In the first few years, I had a childhood friend who was kind enough to open up her home to me during my visit. I stayed in Singapore for about three weeks, and my schedule was fully booked. I saw and met up with about 40 people in those three weeks. 1 person each morning, 1 person each night. Even though I was so exhausted from rushing from one place to another, and interacting with my old friends, I did it anyway. That was how much I treasured their friendship. Of course, even though I had a full schedule, I still wasn't able to meet up with everyone. That was the saddest part of it all.

All those people that I was unable to meet or who hadn't replied to my snail mail ended up drifting away from me. I ended up being the only one trying to keep our friendship afloat. It came to the point that I talked myself into not contacting them, as it would be weird since we hadn't talked to or seen each other for years. Then in 2011, I got into a relationship with my boyfriend and so, he began to join me during my visits to Singapore. With him around, it wasn't convenient for me to stay at my childhood friend's place anymore. We began to pay for temporary accommodation instead, which was quite expensive for us to afford. Needless to mention, I could no longer afford to stay in Singapore for a month. I was forced to cut down my stay to 2 weeks, then 1 week, and recently, just 5 days or so. With the lack of free time available in Singapore, there was no choice. I could only meet with several friends - those who happen to have the same free day as I did.

At times, I had to choose to meet up with one person over another; only because that particular friend had asked to meet up with me first. That was another reason why some of my friendships came to an end. Sometimes, I think back to the past. What would happen if I hadn't moved to Australia? Would I still be in contact with my friends in Singapore? Probably not. Although distance does play a part in the maintenance of a friendship, I strongly believe that it isn't the main reason why friendships fail. It's the effort in keeping in touch that really matters. However, in my case, I was the only one trying. Now, whenever I go back to visit Singapore, I hold back a little. Out of a few hundred friends, who do I choose to meet up with? Would someone get upset if I don't have enough time to meet up with them? These thoughts frequently pop up in my mind.

Friendship is a two-way street. On one hand, it can be such a beautiful existence. So much love, so much support and so much care from someone who is a part in your life. At the same time, it becomes scary, with the transition from friends to strangers. How can someone who meant a lot to you at one point in time become someone that you don't know anymore?

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