“to build or not to build bridges?” – a metaphorical dilemma

“to build or not to build bridges?” – a metaphorical dilemma

I recently read an article shared by a friend on Facebook about friendships and how these change during the transition from adolescence to adulthood: ‘Why adult friendships makes me sad sometimes‘. The result of reading it making me stop and think, and reflect on what she wrote through the eyes of my own life.

I can relate to what she’s said of how during my teenage years, so many hours were devoted to building and maintaining friendships: the highlights of the week always being break time and lunch time at school, the use of messenger as soon as we got home and the rise of Bebo and especially Facebook (which apparently I joined almost nine years to the day ago!), the day-long day trips walking around the local town shopping – or more appropriately – window shopping. I always managed to remember to give out birthday cards, Christmas cards and was a rather avid gift giver as a display of my friendship.

Yet, as the author of the above article so articulately wrote, as I’ve creeped further into adulthood and more candles appear on the cake, the clock seems to race against me to remember to speak to a friend, invite them to an event, attend their own event… and the list goes on. I worried that my travels abroad during my third year of my undergraduate degree in Spain and China would result in losing many friends. Although we have technology in abundance these days, it is so easy to not pick up the phone and have meaningful exchanges like I once spent 2-3 hours a night doing at the young age of 15. Life is no longer within the confines of my parents’ rules and dependence and without this, the rest of the real world comes flooding in with responsibilities, distractions, and skewed perceptions of what sometimes is more important.

Yet, I have been so fortunate to have long-distance friendships that still stand strong. And, despite only seeing some of them once, twice a year, I adore them more than anything ❤

These friendships that have stood the test of distance, time, high stress-levels, bursts of excitement etc. give me faith that I’m doing something right by them. At least, I hope so. Many of my friends have joined the working world yet time doesn’t adjust to accommodate ‘adult friendships’ as if we all still have three million things on our to do list before being able to at least sit on the couch and take a relaxing breath.

These changes that accompany the transition to the independent big wide world are not something that we can control, nor is there a solution to harmonising the balance between work, life, home, friends, family and a myriad of other things that take up our time. Nevertheless, I now understand when one should always continue to build the metaphorical bridge between friendships or let them slowly burn down and go our separate ways. I guess it’s own own responsibility to recognise where we apply our efforts like our social-obsessed teenage selves did and even though it is not an easy skill to master, it is manageable. One of my lovely friends always has time for everyone, and reminded me that sometimes it can be good to give friendships a second, third, even fourth try because that is the right thing to do. And if it works, the rewards are endless.

However, this time, I believe that holding onto the past never has got anyone very far and I’ve recently done that in a bid to sympathise, to be a good person, to try and keep a crumbling bridge from crashing down, and to protect the other person and myself from hurt. But in all honestly, it has, instead, dragged it out, letting the bridge to just implode from the pressure of the unhealthy friendship.

*sigh* life happens.

Yet it’s not what falls apart that defines us and this doesn’t mean that adulthood is the doom of friendship and happiness! Although it can be a real struggle and there isn’t any guidebook telling us what to do or how to balance anything. As my godmother reminds me, some friendships are put on the “back-burner” but depending on circumstances can be rekindled at a moments notice. Just to make life even more complicated! 😀

So, I can’t agree with Man Repeller more:

This does not mean giving up. I have a lot of cards sitting on my dresser that I intend to mail once I finally buy stamps; there are a few friendships that I cracked and want to repair. At the same time, I have faith that certain sisterhoods [and brotherhoods] are built to withstand periods of not-so-good friendship, and when they do, I will thank those enduring souls for their patience, send magnificent bouquets of flowers and be prepared to reciprocate.

❤ Xo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2vBLd5Egnk – Scared to be lonely.

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“don’t let the ‘man’ get you down”

I hope you all recognise the quote I have put as the title for this blog. If you don’t, get online and watch ‘School of Rock’ immediately. You won’t regret it!


 

Dear friends (and anyone who reads this),

This post isn’t long nor about anything special or exciting. We’re back to that time of year again where it’s suddenly April and we don’t know where the time is going. It’s suddenly easy to reminisce as Facebook kindly reminds us of all the fun things we were doing a year or more ago everyday (thanks facebook…) or we’re looking forward to the moment of freedom we are ready to sell our souls for. So I’m just writing this post and we’ll see where this ends up… the title says it all really: Don’t let the man get you down guys. 

Continue reading ““don’t let the ‘man’ get you down””

正月十五:fifteenth and final day of my ‘hóngbāo’ adventure

For my final one, I thought I’d make a video. I tried to keep it short but it is just over six minutes! (I apologise for any babbling or for talking too much.)

For those who are looking at this blog page for the first time, this ‘hóngbāo’ adventure is a series of posts starting from the beginning of the Chinese New Year up to the Lantern Festival. It covers the traditions and is part of a little quest I’ve set for myself to give a ‘hóngbāo’- red envelope – to someone each day and in return, they share a piece of advice that they love or has inspired them that always comes back to them. This is the final day, the 元宵节 (yuánxiāojié), is the Lantern Festival to mark the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations.

The customs on this day is to watch Lion and Dragon dances, for the whole family to eat tangyuan (the glutinous rice balls), guess the riddles on the lanterns. If you google the festival, you will see a variety of lanterns that in the past few years have grown in size to resemble traditional Chinese images, such as fruits, flowers, birds, animals, people, and buildings. The lanterns can be as small as the standard ones we see in drawings to huge sculptures of animals etc. It is a very joyous day and is marked by the full moon that shows that the festival has been through its cycle and it is now time to start the new year. Continue reading “正月十五:fifteenth and final day of my ‘hóngbāo’ adventure”