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.