Friday, July 13, 2007

Going to Different Directions

I have 6 closest friends whom I consider to be those people I "grew up with", since we went through teenage years together. Those years when we experimented and when we tried to find ourselves and our places in life. Those years when we rebelled and built our self-confidence. I've been friends with them for about 15 years (the oldest ones) up to around 10 years (the newest ones). One of their husbands said that he was amazed that we still kept in touch up to now as he hadn't kept in touch with any friends from Junior High School or High School. An Aussie friend of mine who once visited me in Bandung said that we were an interesting bunch as we were SO totally different with one another. Yep, interesting indeed!!!

Up to university, I think we could still understand one another pretty well. I mean, what else could there be to talk about in our lives back then? We were still university students. We only had to deal with exams, courses, exams, and nothing else (back then most of us had no boyfriends yet). We still headed towards a similar direction: graduation and then workplace. Once we started having full-time jobs and then we started having boyfriends and then husbands, everything shifted bit by bit. I began to feel that it got harder and harder to TRULY understand one another since we had less and less time to talk (some of them moved to different cities/countries).

One of them recently asked me why I seemed to be SO burdened to understand them fully. Well, I guess it's just who I am. I crave to understand people fully (sometimes I think I want to understand them better than they understand themselves - it makes me giddy with excitement - but maybe this is one of my craziest sides) and I crave to be understood. However, I've tried to lower my expectations ever since I realize that they're no longer able to spend that much time and energy to understand me fully. But I still have the silent wish to be able to understand them better and better. I think one reason is that I want to know what to say to them. I want to know how I can support them best. I want to know that when I respond to them, I'm not going to pick the wrong words. I know how futile my effort is, though. Saying or doing the wrong thing is inevitable. But one can hope, can't one? ;-D

Anyway, nowadays I feel that we're going to TOTALLY different directions. It makes me slightly more careful in responding to their emails. I have to think twice about what to say to them as I don't want them to think that I'm undermining their situation or patronizing them or being offensive or judgmental. Different priorities force me to stop to think and try to put myself in their shoes before blurting out something that might hurt or offend them. For example: if a friend of yours thinks that a "book" is SO important and then he/she tells you about it in detail and it seems the "book" dominates his/her world so much, but you think it's full of crap, you wouldn't say to to his/her face, would you? Naturally you would want to support your friend, even though it's not easy to find the balance between being true to yourself and being honest to other people versus being an understanding, loving, caring, supportive person.

I guess this is just what life is. It gets harder to understand and support other people when they're going to the opposite directions. It gets harder to support other people's choices when they're so opposite yours. It takes self-control to shut up when you know that what you think is best for them might not be viewed as such by them.

Again I hope God will grant me enough discernment to know when to speak and to be silent. I hope God will grant me enough wisdom to know the balance in life in everything I do, day by day, one step at a time.


  1. Interesting, do you find yourself change over the years?

  2. Yep, indeed. At least I've become more laid-back, I think. Not trying too hard anymore to control everything. I've also learnt valuable lessons on letting go.

  3. You know I have a similar story I have a group of 4 really close friends and we have been together since school and the same thing you describe so well in your post seemed to happen to us.
    You get married your life changes direction, they don't agree with some of the decisions you make you just drift a little bit.
    It happened to us because of distance as well we all live in different cities very far from each other but then came Facebook giving u a platform to communicate with each other as a group and now I have coerced them into co-authoring a blog with me.

  4. Hi, Amber!!!

    YES! YES! YES!!! I'm GLAD you understand it perfectly. It's NICE that you have managed to ask them to co-author a blog with you. My friends are too busy to do it and most of them don't like blogging he he he...

    My friends and I still communicate regularly via email, though, and all of us join Friendster (similar to Facebook). It's just that I feel that the differences between us have become bigger and bigger now.

  5. hehehe...Mel, I know you really like details, but if letting you understand me more means that I have to read and write dozens of emails a day like we did before, others would get less and less of me hehehe... So your sacrifice is appreciated by many others, hihihi...

    But REALLY, I know you care for me and try to support me to the fullest, and that's already more than enough Mel, I can feel your love in many ways :)

    Remember what I said, that I dont need to understand you fully to love you? I guess I'm not being fair since either a. I don't have that much problem in understanding, which is not likely the case; or b. I don't need to understand that much. So it's a bit easier for me perhaps. From another angle, people show love in different sorts of way, ways that sometimes other people can't read. So again the message doesn't get across, even though you understand them.

    People tend to give what they need, so sometimes you can see what others need just by seeing what they give or how they respond. But maybe for others its not that easy to actually see the pattern. I don't know. Being able to understand and see from other ppl's shoe isn't always a blessing, it can be a curse sometimes. Since sometimes I feel that I get stuck in the middle, trying to intepret the different language both sides speak.

    Hmmm...about the 'book' makes me curious to know what book you're thinking about hihihi... I guess everyone of the girl has a book that the others don't value, I think that's normal...

    I don't think it should matter when you don't think my 'book' is that important (of course saying that it's crap isn't the way to go either :P). I'd like to think we're grown up enough to know that the value of the 'book' doesn't change just because somebody else thinks its toilet paper. Maybe they just can't read the language ;)

    But of course that's what happnes in the ideal world, hehe... And of course when a close friend says it - well, then again a close friend should know why the book is so important anyway, dont you think?

    Arrghh..I'm really jumping around with the subject, aren't I???

    BOTTOMLINE: I really hope you've found your peace now :)


  6. Hey, girl!!!

    I HAVE found my peace now, don't worry. I just thought the post would be good for anyone who's experiencing the same thing or who've experienced the same thing. I just wanted to "think out loud" in my blog.

    I've been meaning to write it down a long time ago, but only then I had time to really put them into paragraphs. ;-D

    I know getting what we want can be a curse sometimes. I just wish sometimes I don't get too confused on what to say he he he...