Having a friend’s like learning to ride a bike.

A number of nights ago while doing some meditation, the fact that I haven’t contacted so many of my friends, many of whom had been extremely close to me before, kept crawling into my mind. I just couldn’t escape the fact about how worried I was that I had been so nonchalant in my attention to friendships. But then this very comforting thought came to me: having a friend is like learning to ride a bike — once you learn how, you never forget.

There are many reasons why you become friends with anyone. Chances are some random circumstance (fate?) brought you together. Maybe it was due to you both attending the same school, or working for the same organisation, or you both share a number of mutual friends. The first time you meet this friend is like the first time you learn to ride a bike: a friendship feels impossible at first, then suddenly, without any perceptible change you hit the tipping point and a friend is made, just like how riding a bike feels as awkward as nakedness in a crowd at first then suddenly turns as natural as breathing.

Then circumstances dictate that you don’t get see that friend for a long time. The bike’s stored away, perhaps due to new toy or a change in circumstance (for me, it was when my bike got stolen *sigh*). After a while, you start thinking about how a good friend was lost through time, and you regret not having “kept the friendship alive”. Damnit, you say to yourself, I should have Facebooked more.

But what you don’t realise is that a friend never does leave. A friend’s always back there, waiting for you. One day you pick up a bike again, and forgetting that you’d forgotten how to ride a bike, you get on it and start peddling, and off you go! The friend’s laughing away at your jokes, awkward silences are silenced, and you’re both catching up on old times.

Though I won’t say it’s always like this, it’s happened more often than I can keep count for me. Friends never do go away. And amen to that.

Putting my IT knowledge to better use?

I was just recalling how Zixuan told me how lucky I was that I had all the knowledge necessary to carry out a web-based business, something plenty of people wish they had but hadn’t (including him). When he first mentioned it to me, I simply agreed but didn’t think much into it — plenty of people have some sort of talent they don’t make full use of, and I just happen to be one of them.

But lately, for some reason or other, I’ve been feeling that having all this knowledge just rotting away was particularly sinful. Other than doing websites, I had plenty of other IT-related expertise I could share, like VBA/PHP programming, information management (if you’ve got data you need to store and retrieve, I’ll teach you how best to do it), and non-IT-related expertise like copywriting or copyediting that I could share.

Other than doing freelance work, which I’m already doing, could I not use my expertise to help non-profits and charitable organisations? Of course I could.

So this is an appeal to all out there: if you know of any non-profit or charitable organisation that requires any of my above-mentioned expertise, please let me know. I’ll be glad to see if and how I can help.

Give a Life a Home

Kunkun er hao (left) with his girlfriend, Kunkun er hao de nu peng you (Gungun 二号的女朋友)

My home’s undergoing some renovation work at present. Though on the surface it seems that that not enough’s going on to cause a considerable drop in the quality of my life, the bad vibes from alien structures scattered about the house, the forced relocations of many of my most commonly used and loved items (my shoes, camera, and the irreplaceable Gungun kunkun er hao), and the seemingly endless supply of dust over everything (sheets included) just keep gnawing away at you till you’re ready to implode; and the fact that there’s no home to run away to in times like these feels horribly claustrophic (“Out! Out! I want to get out!”)

It’s times like these that I really start appreciating my home; and, as I sit here and type about my temporary loss of a good home, I start realising how fortunate I am to have had what I have had. I cannot imagine what it’d be like to be without a home, or to have a home I dread going back to. And yet, this is the reality thousands (millions?) of people, children or otherwise, live with every single day.

Who am I to complain, right?

I suddenly feel really compelled to do something to improve the lives of those still longing to find their home, be it a literal home or not.

Tell you what, I’m going to transfer $50 to some random charity through Internet Banking. Why don’t you, too?