countdown 5: circle of friends through the years

My most enduring relationship (aside from my family) is my friendship with my high school barkada. Even though I rarely keep in touch with them (blame it to my anti-social tendencies), they are omnipresent in my life especially during the moments that matter.

Oh, we used to have a lot of conflicts and a good share of teenage girl dramas - misunderstandings, taking sides, crying in the school stairways, puppy love, family problems, insecurities... akin to the then very popular teenage flick TGIS! But we did share a lot of fabulous memories together and we helped each other survive the awkward teenage phase and all its emotional baggage.

We parted ways after high school graduation, going to different schools in the country for our college courses. Here's an excerpt from a letter I wrote shortly after our graduation:

...With us, there's no need for any friendship pact because there's an invisible bond that bridges the gap and makes us realize that someone is always there for us. It's true, life has been a lot more meaningful because we have each other to cling on to. Is there something sweeter than a friendship that has withstood the test of time? There is nothing.

In our hearts, though we're far apart, is a friendship assuring us that no matter what happens we'll always be there for each other. No distance could ever keep us apart, for we are friends, the best of friends. And we're willing to make it stay that way far longer than forever knows.

Back then, forever was one of my favorite words.

In my working years, I was lucky to find the same tight bond with a smaller circle of girl friends. Nothing can match the closeness forged by stress at work and deadlines. And as is the sad reality of life, we had to part ways as well. During one of those times I missed them badly, I wrote this:

...these are the moments my tears fall not because I'm hurt or sad but because when I skim through the pages of memories, I see the faces of dear friends I'm no longer with - each of us living our separate lives now, pursuing our own dreams.

...these are the times change is bittersweet and precious moments spent together are nostalgic.

...these are the days one can vividly recall someone's corny jokes or boisterous laughter or out-of-tune voice singing to her heart's content, arguments and petty misunderstandings, bonding over food and crying over coffee, bingeing on Mindoro sling and tequila shots in Tagaytay...

...these are the memories that will eventually fade with time but will be reminisced over and over again until new memories are made...

...these are the moments that remind me of how fully I have lived my life so far, of how far I've come, of how lucky I am to have met the dearest of friends who have deeply touched my life...

I'm looking forward to being with them again

and we'll catch up over a cup of coffee ...

... in the Eiffel tower on 10 October of 2010*.

Meeting in the Eiffel Tower on October 10, 2010 was a farfetched dream that has not come true. But back then, it felt great to cook up such a fantasy.

Most of my friends and I live separate lives now but thanks to social media, we still manage to keep in touch and have a good laugh (or cry) every now and then.

I'm also grateful that I have another special circle of friends in the present that I meet up with regularly - to reminisce the past, to cherish, nurture, indulge in and sometimes forsake the now, and to aspire with for a wonderful future.

Good friends are like desserts, they are life's sweet indulgence. I'm truly blessed and loved.


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