FRIENDS. You lose some, you win some.
Meeting a long-lost friend is definitely as refreshing as a cone of ice cream on a summer day.
I felt this way when I met Gigi for lunch today at a Chinese hole-in-a-wall. She was a former co-employee and masteral classmate in International Studies at the State U. It has been ten years since we last saw each other.Ten years! And we were so surprised to learn (short of gloating) that we were still slender and in fact, could still be the good friends that we were…
Gigi worked for a long time as a public relations manager for a hotel in Beijing and is now back in Manila to establish her own marketing company. And so she wasted no time in telling me about the six years she spent in China, of which two were spent memorably with her Austrian (ex) boyfriend, Hendrik. Interminably, we talked about her travels, my life, books, job experiences and a sundry of other topics over a delicious, modest lunch of tofu, dumplings, quekiam and kangkong. She enlightened me so much about China, a place I intend to visit in the future. She did tell me how industrialized it was and how it lacked soul, how the skyscrapers in Shanghai outrivalled Manhattan, and how the Chinese subscribed to business practices so shrewd it made her puke.She did tell me that progress in China was filled with so much hype because majority of the people were still poor.
Over coffee at Starbucks, Gigi did tell me how she treasured the book I gave her when I was still in England. I couldn’t even remember but I was glad to learn it touched her life and was holding on to it till now. Moral of the story: Never stop at doing a good deed because you never know how it can influence somebody else’s life. I told Gigi that the I-Ching gift was an omen of her career in the Big Continent.
Our meeting today proved that the years may change us but never the nature of a good, beautiful friendship. Suffice it to say that I treasure my friends as much as my family or my career; at the end of the day, they provide more balance and harmony than a boyfriend or a partner would.
I’ve experienced so many friendships in my life, enough for me to know what would work and what would not. The ground rules in a genuine friendship is the same as in any other relationship. Lots of respect, no name calling and no attacking a friend’s integrity or character. If a friend is true, rest assured that he/she would accept you as you are, with no judgment. And you can always expect to listen to sound, sensible advice – with no agenda or vested interest involved.
Even while sharing secrets, I believe that you cannot be overfamiliar with your friend. For example, I don’t like receiving inane text messages every ten minutes as I value my time and I have other aspects of my life to attend to. The most successful friendships I’ve had were those which gave me space and yet I know I can still turn to when a major crisis or situation occurred.
Looking at my life, I haven’t been so successful with my relationships but for every man I lost are 10 true friends I know who can come to the rescue. Believe me, that is more than I could ever ask for and I thank God. My friends will always be better than a man.