On friendship: Two-way street

“But you never check up on me. I always call, you don’t always pick up. Everyone’s too busy. Nobody really checks up on me.” So went my dramatic rant to my best friend, over what could be our first little ‘argument’ of sorts in a long time. I guess I just had to put it out there, because that was the truth. She did agree. “I’m sorry I was so busy…”

Easily the most overused excuse we all give to almost anything or anyone is “I’m busy”. It’s funny –I just posted Pastor Tan Chi’s video sermon on that particular topic, and while it was on a completely different context, it basically had the same message: being busy is a choice you make. Something’s got to give and we have to make priorities. When you say you’re too busy for something or someone, you’re actually saying you consider them a lesser priority.

“You made us feel like you were okay, you were happy. It all looked that way.” For the record, I NEVER made it look that way. People just assumed we’re always okay based on what we post. But things are not always as they seem. And as a point of clarification about the use of social media, I happen to use social media in the way a journal is used. It records my life, my events, the people I meet, the things I encounter, the experiences I live out. I don’t know how it is for other people, whether they post to give off any impression — I suppose a lot of people do that. But personally, I don’t post these things to give off any impression that, hey, my life is okay! I’m doing great! I just like documenting memories and events as a way for me to remember, to connect, to tell my story.

And even if my life did seem okay on the outside, shouldn’t we still exert or make the effort to call once in a while and check how one is doing? I told my best friend that for all the occasions and milestones of her life, I was there. I was present. I want to be present for the special moments of all my friends. I come home for weddings, birthdays, reunions, baby showers, bridal showers, christening. I’m only a plane away, really, but because there isn’t an everyday interaction, I try to not miss out as much as I can on all their important moments. But how come they never visited me here? How come nobody sent me letters when I did? How come nobody sends packages or surprises and all that sort? Why is the effort to communicate and to connect and to build the friendship heavier on my side all the time?

Friendship is a two-way street. I read this somewhere, and here I am quoting the entire phrase.  It shouldn’t be a job to maintain the friendship. The relationship should be kept alive by both people, one person shouldn’t be doing all of the work. One-sided friendships suck. I’m not one to give up on someone easily, but giving so much to someone and never having anything reciprocated, not even a thank you, it’s hard. I mean how hard is it to send a “How are you?” text every once in a while? Think about it. 


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