February 21

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On Old Friendships That See Our Unfiltered Selves

Bởi Odyssa

February 21, 2023

These past few months, I feel lucky. I got to spend time with close friends from the Philippines and we explored Vietnam and Thailand together. 

These are the people I spent many hours, conversations, coffee cups, and meals with. 

The moment our eyes meet again is almost invigorating, as if a younger part of myself shows up. 

Agenda for today

Aside from the delightful memories that come with photos and videos, I fondly look back to our conversations that circle around relationships with partners, family, and jobs. 

We ask questions like:

Do you have plans to leave the Philippines?

How long will you stay in Vietnam?

Where and when is your next trip?

Do you want to have kids in the near or far future?

Since we've gotten a little older, one thing that's been creeping up in our conversations is death. We like to think ahead. 

Back when we were all working in the same offices, our major concern was always the job. How do we get promoted? When do we get the salary increase? Where should we go for the long weekend?

It's clear our priorities have changed. I love seeing how we all have grown and changed over the years. 

Old Friendships

In the past, I underestimated what friendship could do. If I can do things on my own, I'll be alright. As long as I have my family, I will be fine.

But seeing old friends and making new ones are telling me how these bonds are needed for our well-being. 

The best thing about old friendships is this:

Once you see each other after a long time of no contact, no coffee dates, and no phone calls, it's as if nothing changed. You talk the same way, you use the same jokes. You feel the same way around each other. 

Do you know how it feels to be stuck in time? That's how it is to be with friends you've known for long. Old friendships must be life's funny way of preserving who we were and reminding us of where we've been.

John and Jhim. Friends for over a decade!

It also proves life's unpredictability. The plans from years ago did not come into fruition. Some goals were achieved, yes, but no one could have predicted the future.

No one could have known I'd be living in Hanoi. Here's a photo from a boat ride along Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Thailand.

Our Unfiltered Selves

Friends make our lives more bearable and fun. They bring us comfort during troubled times with the joy of companionship. 

Ann Patchett, in her book "These Precious Days", said about her dear friend, Sooki:
As it turned out, Sooki and I needed the same thing: to find someone who could see us as our best and most complete selves. Astonishing to come across such a friendship at this point in life. At any point in life.

Real friends are hard to come by. If you have one or two real friends (because they don't need to be many), consider yourself fortunate. 

I went with old friends to Sa Pa, a province in Northern Vietnam. Read about this beautiful place here

Friendships add to our happiness along with the things in this list of small joys

Odyssa ·

Giới thiệu về tác giả

Odyssa là một nhà văn đến từ Philippines. Cô là tác giả của Like A New Sun Rising: A Collection of Poems on Love. Khi không làm việc hoặc viết lách ở nhà, cô ấy ra ngoài dắt chó đi dạo. Cô thích đi du lịch, tập yoga, lạc vào sách vở và phim truyền hình Hàn Quốc. Đối với cô ấy, dành thời gian cho một thực hành hoặc nghi lễ hàng ngày là món quà tốt nhất cho bản thân.

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