Thursday, September 27, 2007

Crossroads

In more ways than one, we have a lot to thank the internet for -- the dawn of an era! It has indeed made our lives a thousand times easier and more convenient, and at the same time, it has given birth to a multitude of ideas and tossed in more spices to our already flavorful lives. It has spurred enterprises and industries that were once only a figment of our imaginations, and it also left no rhyme or reason for us to lose touch with our pasts and our presents.

The nascent of networking tools such as Friendster and Facebook has certainly added new meaning to "keeping in touch." The million-dollar ideas were met with resounding success. These networks provide numerous ways to catch up with lost friends without having to make that awkward phone call or to keep in touch with comrades literally by lifting a single finger (to click on that mouse).

I admit that I have sold out to these fads and trends. It makes stalking all the more fun and easier -- especially for incredibly nosy people like me. However, flipping through the pages of these so-called electronic yearbooks have caused me tremendous longing to revisit certain patches of my life. As I look at the long lists of people that are somehow (allegedly) connected to me, I acquire this sad realization that people in our lives come and go like waves crashing in and out of the shores. There are people that have been confined only during certain years in my life, and once I move on to the next few years, they're as good as gone, unfortunately. They are stowed away in a little treasure box in my head that is labeled "Memories [enter year here]." And as I open new chapters in my life, more characters come flitting in and only God knows how long they will last. If it were entirely up to me, I would never wish it to be like this. I would love to simply accumulate friends and never have to lose touch with any of them.

I can almost feel bittersweet smiles playing on my face whenever I decide to take one of these trips down memory lane and revisit the people that have walked through my life at least once. Many of them have moved on with their own lives and have picked up new friends, new partners, new hobbies, new activities -- basically, they have started a life that no longer includes me just like how I started a life far away from them. But remembering the lives that we shared once upon a time provokes a yearning of sorts inside me that wants it all over again. Those days, no doubt, have been happy as we frolic about in innocence and grandeur as we anticipate what the future brings. And the future is now here. Surely we would have never believed it would end up like this if the Oracle of Delphi allowed us to take a peep into our own futures back then.

Funny, isn't it, how life can offer so many different forks in the road for us to take? As from childhood, the people that we meet are more or less from the same starting point as us, and as we go on running the marathon of life, we find ourselves going towards different finish lines. Some I cannot believe have ended up where they are and it leads me to question what we had in common back then that actually bound us together. Whilst others, I cannot help but feel a spark of jealousy because they seem genuinely happy -- the same kind of serenity and glory that I wish for myself. And others, I feel a pang of curiosity as to how it is to be them for just one day.

We carve our own roads and we meet other racers in the process -- some we stick with and some we leave at the curbs, and if we're lucky, we get to meet them again at one point later on. Several miles I have run and I still get surprised how I ended up where I am today with the various turns that I have taken. And as I retrace the roads I've once gone on, I get brought back to memories of those I was running with and I can only wish that they have all found the right roads to take. Unfortunately, the only way for us to find out whether or not we've made the right choices is when we reach the finish line.

Out of the various elements making up my intricate networks, I can count using only my ten fingers those who have stuck running with me. Of course, not all of them run side by side with me, but they all run within a comfortable distance -- near enough for me to get guidance when I'm feeling lost but far enough for me to have the proper space that I need. And for these people I exalt and thank the Lord.

It's no big secret that crossroad friends make up quite a chunk of my life especially with my constant hopping around. I am very fortunate for they always impart a little something with me during every encounter. And every single one counts. For without them, I will have no memories. Even if that's all they remain to be -- memories -- it is still enough to be thankful about. I leave the question up to fate as why they all have to be crossroad friends instead of lifelong friends. But whomever is watching from up above, I have faith that He knows what He's doing. Maybe one day I'll find out. Maybe one day, they will reappear in my life.

For now, my crossroad friends are immortalized with the aid of the Internet. And my bosom friends -- they are immortalized in my heart. (You know who you are. And you know I love you)

28 Comments:

Blogger Lucid Darkness said...

Oh I simply love your writing! I cannot express the joy I felt when reading this post. It seems as though you've read my mind.

Friends: crossroad friends and lifelong ones. Who will stay and who will be bade farewell? Is the nostalgia on revisiting memories worth that gnawing sense of loss? Or is it a sweet emotion that is to be cherished along with the memories?

"Some I cannot believe have ended up where they are and it leads me to question what we had in common back then that actually bound us together."
I have often wondered the same.

"As I look at the long lists of people that are somehow (allegedly) connected to me, I acquire this sad realization that people in our lives come and go like waves crashing in and out of the shores. There are people that have been confined only during certain years in my life, and once I move on to the next few years, they're as good as gone, unfortunately. They are stowed away in a little treasure box in my head that is labeled "Memories [enter year here]." And as I open new chapters in my life, more characters come flitting in and only God knows how long they will last. If it were entirely up to me, I would never wish it to be like this. I would love to simply accumulate friends and never have to lose touch with any of them."
You're brilliant when it comes to expressing profound insights into what we call feelings.

I love this post!

10:55 PM  
Blogger Dragon Laugh said...

This really struck a chord with me - I know exactly what you mean here. I, too, am enamored of the sentimental memeories of friends gone their own ways, and find myself often wondering how they are, and/or wanting to try to find them again, usually via the internet.

I have actually found a couple childhood friends through the net. One seemed thrilled to hear from me at first, but then her communications became fewer and farther between, and now we haven't talked in years. Her father, however, was - like her - a very close family friend, and I actually reminisced about "the good ol' days" more with him than with her. Now I find myself wondering how he's doing and wanting to send off a letter. Another re-found friend pretty much ignored me after one seemingly joyously happy letter, but, like the other old friend, I re-discovered a buddy with one of her family members, this time her brother. Which is kinda funny because when we were kids her brother (older, of course) was always picking on us.

Things like that make you wonder just how long you might have remained friends with some of thos childhood buddies if you'd kept in touch over all the long years. Discovering how much your friends (and yourself) have changed is a bit disorienting, and sometimes discouraging. It's hard to set reality next to those cherished memories and see the difference sometimes. In another way, it's an eye-opener into just how far you've come and the lessons you've learned since then. It's a bittersweet thing, but one that - despite a few discomforts here and there - I still can't help but to wish for. There are a few other childhood friends I'd love to find, but haven't yet. I wonder sometimes if maybe it's best that I don't, but that eternal dreamer in me insists that it would be just as magical to catch up with an old-friend-turned-stranger as those childhood days themselves once were.

Thanks for the though-provoking post. I always enjoy your writing.

11:17 PM  
Blogger Jennifer McKenzie said...

I call this "Proximity". There are some people that are friends because they're THERE.
But then, there are those who are always a friend, no matter what. No matter where I am or they are.
I have one. Only one. It doesn't matter what happens in my life, she's been there with me. Through every change and every turn.
It's so rare to find a running partner like that.
The rest are, as you said, in my memory and I'm grateful for them.
Great post as always.

11:43 PM  
Blogger Kati said...

You phrase things so well.... I've been struggling with some of the same feelings (those of loss of friends & aquantances, and the wondering if I ever really knew them at all) this summer with my 10th HS reunion now just past. It was interesting, and yet somewhat painful, to see these kids that I grew up with, and yet don't know at all. And I miss who they were, and who I was, and yet I'm glad to see we've all (or, almost all) grown immensely & matured. Some I long to keep in touch with, others I'm glad to see the back of. *shaking head* There ARE so many conflicting emotions when one thinks of those that one's known, and lost touch with. *sigh*

You put it VERY well, though!!! You truly have a gift for capturing the emotion in words in a way that's easily understood by all.

2:06 AM  
Blogger lemonade said...

u know..its funny..every time i read one of your posts..its like m reading my mind!! expect you say it all..and u say it a 1000 times better!!

2:44 AM  
Blogger Zee said...

the social networks also help u believe in the theory of six degrees of separation...and in some strange way....thru someone u know...u never really lose touch with the person...u're always connected

3:09 AM  
Anonymous Kyla Bea said...

I have to say that this is one of the reasons I'm mixed on Facebook and other social networking sites in general, my concern is that we're learning from a young age that the arms length of the internet is the same thing as closeness. One of the reasons I joined Facebook particularly was because I had friends who would no longer respond to e-mails or who were becoming lax in returning calls....but message their wall and you were right in the middle of their digital world.

These are by no means my close friends, but I have to feel that on some lever these sites are less about building a network or friendships and are more about building monuments to ourselves for others to ooh and ahh at.

...and for using to sublet our apartments on ; )

3:13 AM  
Blogger Libby said...

you are SUCH a talented writer! you just have the knack of taking feelings that everybody has, and putting them into words that we couldn't! so thank you for that!

5:56 AM  
Blogger fifi said...

Beautifully said, Princess!
As always.

7:49 AM  
Blogger thisisme said...

A sublime post from you again. You've really expressed so much of what I've been thinking and so beautifully. Thank you.

8:07 AM  
Blogger William said...

Doesn't take much to keep a friendship and it doesn't take much to end one either.

2:08 PM  
Blogger Superficial Gibbering prater said...

If we didnt have crossroad friends...We will never know the value of bosom friends...Maybe that is the point of the whole game.
giving more of a 'useless' thing just to stress how little u have of a more 'useful' thing

5:22 PM  
Blogger paddy said...

"Everything comes and goes marked by lovers and styles of clothes, things that we held high and told yourself were true are lost and changing as the days come to you. down constant stranger .... ..."
Your post put me in mind for some reason we are all in the end strangers with something in common that changes, fades, or drifts away to another beach till maybe we are caught by the tide and drift back the way we came to meet up with familiar floatsam shaped and worn by the journey that is life.
Tonight you sleep and tomorrow find yourself back where you started or some totally new place alone.
You may not be cught by the tide and remain there. Who knows.Y;-) Paddy

8:37 PM  
Blogger AVIANA said...

i've had many crossroad friends...and i don't have any lifelong friends but then again i don't know when my life is gonna end and i think only at that time point will i realize who have been my lifelong friends...oh well

me and friends don't get along really...truth is with every person i meet, i fight to count the days until we fall out because the inevitable happens...

friends are to be cherished...

have a nice fun weekend!

10:01 PM  
Blogger Shreya said...

you have put down these feelings really beautifully and i identify a lot with what you have written...friends indeed are an important part of ones life.But eventhough i am just fresh out of school and in my first year into college,that chapter of my life already seems to be over...and at the end of the day,we all only have memories to look forward to...

12:42 PM  
Blogger the walking man said...

Good thoughts. Friends? I have none. People I love and am loved by, a few.
Everyone else is a seed blowing in the wind if it falls in my heart and takes root, then it matters little when I see them again, if ever, I wil still love them.

everyone else, Hi, bye, nice knowing you for awhile.

Peace

TWM

6:18 PM  
Blogger Still searching said...

Absolutely so true! I've had the same thought many times myself, on how we've moved on, and sometimes when we bump into each other on Facebook or Orkut, we look at each other and think about whether we've made the right choices, where we've gone in life and how things have worked out.. sometimes you dont have anything to say to each other either, you've moved so far apart! Sometimes there is so much to say that there's no idea where to start! :))

Great post, and as usual, just like I think! :)

9:56 PM  
Blogger nasia said...

:)..
u are so easy to read..
and u always write beautifully.. truth is beauty.. and beauty is truth..

10:50 PM  
Blogger Anshul said...

you write brilliantly and man! so much of what you say is like yeah I agree with that.
Cheers!

4:15 PM  
Blogger Standbymind said...

felt really to read this....
As zee points out..the six degree of sepataion..ya net makes it happen for sure...
Really nicely written..

:)

4:57 PM  
Blogger Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Crossroad friends. Absolutely agree.

Like soft thin ropes of yarn; every color and texture, all tangled across one another over the earth, we come, we go, we connect and disconnect... and sometimes when we are very lucky, we intertwine for a while.

Good post.
Amen.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

3:17 AM  
Blogger Astraeus said...

coming back to ur blog after a long time (had stopped visitng other's blogs)
a self imposed solitude

i really liked/identified with this post
orkut and facebook rock... the emaning of friendship has transcended the traditional norms to what is virtuality. though i am still wary about making frnds with peoplei dont know and all the people on mah orkut anf facebook lists are actually people i know personally but the prospect of making friends who i havent seen is not such a bad idea about though i still prefer the old idea of knowing people through their blogs
:)

3:41 AM  
Blogger Princess Extraordinaire said...

IT IS AMAZING THAT LIVE AFFORDS US SO MANY CROSSROADS AT WHICH WE MAKE SO MANY FUNDAMENTAL DECISIONS ABOUT OUR DESTINATION

5:04 AM  
Blogger drips of paint said...

I do not know how many life long friend I have but I have been told that I am someone life long friend... it takes such effort to mainting that status though.

I am not sure I am built for being a life long friend.

11:55 AM  
Blogger paddy said...

PS: yes, it's not what we have to do, but the decisions and their consequences that we have to face because of them.
Y;-) Paddy

5:54 PM  
Blogger Crashdummie said...

Wow, I never thought of the deeper meaning of Facebook – I thought it was all abt sending boozemail, biting each other, poking others and play stalker ;)

Ppl will come and go from your life, but some ppl will leave their prints in your heart and you will treasure the memory forever.

8:51 PM  
Blogger Sigma said...

I so completely identify with what you said. Sometimes, I feel as if you have put my thoughts and feeling in words :-)

People come and go out of our lives like waves crashing on the shore --- this is something really nostalgic .... i am sometimes haunted by the thought of friends of my hostel days, who were closer than family, and we couldnt envisage lives without each other ... and now months and years pass without us meeting though we live in the same country, if not the ame city .....

1:01 AM  
Blogger poisonivy said...

beautiful post. its about a very normal thing that happens to anyone and everyone, but i doubt anyone could put it in words as u have...
i simply love your writing!

11:51 PM  

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