On New Friends // Letters to October (14)

Dear October,

Before I started my final year of university, I started praying for friends again. What was the worst that could happen, I reasoned.

At some point, I started having plans again. I explored life as I wouldn’t have dared to by myself. I found myself with more hands to support me than in many years. In the meantime, further precarious fixtures in my life fell away. Most had been fading since high school years — unanswered messages on both sides, conversations abandoned midway, as if we had gone out of breath from running around the same track. It was a long time coming. Others went abruptly and loudly, leaving scars that will keep opening before they heal.

Either way, it hurts when ‘is’ becomes ‘was’. And it’s even harder to leave those rotting relationships behind when they keep reappearing, when your guard is down, through threads of social media. Keeping someone around like that, labelling them friend even when the word is empty of meaning, makes it easier to leave a window ajar in case the real thing is ever revived.

It’s easy to scroll through moments of their life and sink deeper into the what ifs. To wonder if they think of the past at all.

Continue reading “On New Friends // Letters to October (14)”

On Losing Friends // Letters to October (10)

Dear October,

Some moments in life happen within a heartbeat. Others take their time, crawling at first within the edge and rooting into your life while you’re looking the other way. Losing the first of my best friends happened so gradually that I was surprised when the word ‘friends’ didn’t really fit with their names anymore. Why did it happen? Physical distance, to some extent. Something shifts when the rhythms of a friendship aren’t dictated by the regularity of school schedules and shared experiences within classroom walls.

Suddenly you don’t know detailed aspects of the other person’s life. The names and faces they embrace in familiarity are foreign to you. Doubt emerges. Where do you fit into their new life? Will your continued presence bother them? Will they read your words and care about what you say? And the childish speculation of whether new, immediate friendships take precedence over those steadily growing distant. After all, there’s only so much that can fit in the palm of the hand before the excess starts to slip away.

Continue reading “On Losing Friends // Letters to October (10)”

Moving // Letters to October (8)

Dear October,

We’re always moving. From one step to the next, one side to the other, one corner of the world to another. As I sat waiting for my flight to land this evening, it struck me how a single journey can contain a multitude of meanings.

The young woman sitting beside me, who spoke with an English twang, took her glasses off and hid her face as the plane descended. The relief of homecoming was hidden by what appeared to be a curtain of dread as the plane landed with a thud.

A row ahead, an elderly lady turned off flight mode on her phone. Closing a game of Candy Crush Saga, she slowly typed out a message in another language. Having left home, maybe reassuring someone of her safe arrival.

Continue reading “Moving // Letters to October (8)”