Thursday, March 6, 2014


i've been thinking a lot lately about the notion of friendship. 
different people have different notions about friendship and as such, friendships fall apart, people get hurt, etc. no one notion is right.
the other day i was just thinking about how people decide to go from calling me "charlotte" to "char."
i'm kind of weird in that sense but i definitely notice when people call me "char" over "charlotte."
that is not to say that i dislike it or anything but i'm an overthinker and so it made me think, do people start calling me char because:
1. they feel like i consider them a close friend?
2. they consider me a close enough friend of theirs?
3. they like me as a person and want to be closer?
4. it's a time thing and after they know me a number of years, they just switch to calling me that even if we're not particularly close? 
5. my name is just too long (half joking about this one).
interesting how such a small thing can be overthought so much. but whatever it is, i think i should look at it as an honor and privilege to a certain extent because people address me endearingly. 
i think the only time it really throws me off is when ex-friends call me char. it almost really repulses me cause we're no longer close friends and are more like acquaintances than friends now. 

as i've grown older, i think of friendship very differently. 
i no longer fear losing friends. 
when i was back in singapore this past chinese new year and telling one of my friends about some once important friendships i lost recently, her reaction was, "no, this is not the time to lose friends anymore." 
i on the other hand feel like this is the time in your life to figure out who your lifelong friends are going to be. 
yes, you can never guarantee who's going to be your lifelong friend but you can at least choose who you hope to grow old with and who you feel comfortable with. people who will not bring drama into your life but who will be by your side helping you along the way. 
so yeah, i've actually done really well with lost friendships in recent years. 

as life gets busier for each of us as we grow older, i really miss the days when we were in school and you know, we basically saw our friends every single weekday.
of course that's not possible now but i really love it when friends still share with you on a pretty regular basis a funny incident that happened to them that day or something that really made them mad.
(since i'm not in singapore, this is not possible in my case) but i really like it when friends make a conscientious effort to meet up on a pretty regular basis. 
i've seen friends who meet up with their good friends sometimes even a few times in a week. of course it's not always the whole clique together but it's like maybe yoga class with one member of the clique on tuesday and then dinner on thursday with another person. 
i like the idea of spending most of the after work hours with close friends since most of the time you can't choose to work together. 

when i was back in singapore this last trip, my friends gave me a taste of what that would be like and i was really grateful for that. 
we would meet up for lunch at my place on sunday, go out for karaoke on monday and then meet again for dinner or bowling or some other activity later in the week/on the weekend. 
it was absolute bliss for me haha. 
i like the closeness that brings.
i dislike meeting up after a long long time and feeling like there's just so much to catch up on because it's been months since we last saw each other. 
most of the time that results in somewhat awkward silences here and there because too much has happened and you don't even know where to begin or what happened.

of course i usually end up only meeting up with my singapore friends two weeks of the year but between this year and the next, there are updates over whatsapp so i don't have to catch up on a year's worth of happenings.
like with the friday clique, sometimes we don't have much to update each other on because we're all just working working working busy busy busy but if we saw a funny photo, we would just send it in the group chat and then all of us can laugh about it together and catch up for a bit haha. 
and like sometimes, cay would randomly just type "1 or 2?" and all of us would be so confused but someone would reply and pick a number and then she would say "thanks."
we would often ask her after what that was about and she would say "instagram filter" or something and we would laugh over it.
but that's what friendship is - accumulation of the little silly things like that that remind us of each other so we don't forget these friends we love. 

so maybe my idea of friendship seems clingy/needy but i'm the kind of person who really invests in my friendships and so i'm always thinking of the people i love and what i can do for them. 
people often say, "but life is so busy."
to that, i say, "who in the world isn't busy? we all have 24 hours and we all don't ever have enough time to do all the things we want to do in a day. but, you make time if you care."

here are some things to do to show you care:
1. mark your friends' birthday in your planner/on your calendar so you remember to send them a birthday card/gift.

  • oftentimes, i get so busy that i don't have time to get a gift. but, i always try my best to make sure to at least send a card.
  • since most of my friends live in singapore, i usually write down in my planner two weeks before the actual birthday: "send XX's birthday card and present." this way, i'm not left scrambling at the last minute trying to send the things out.
  • you know these friends well and so sometimes if you're shopping for yourself and you see something that is so them and their birthday is in the next 2 months or so, buy it and then keep it till then. it doesn't hurt to be early.
2. allocate some time to catching up with your friends
  • sunday afternoons are usually a good time for me because i just have church in the morning and am usually free for the rest of the day besides emailing my little sister. 
  • because of the time difference, i'm usually sleeping when my friends are up or they're sleeping when i'm up. there are however a few hours of each day when this is not the case. when i first wake up in the morning, that's when my friends are off work and not yet in bed. while getting ready for work, i take the time to chat with them on whatsapp/line until they go to bed.
  • or sometimes, i initiate a conversation in the chat while they may still be in bed and then they usually will reply back when they're commuting to work in the morning and by then, i'm almost off work or off work and at the gym and i'll reply them while i'm running or whatever. 
  • set up a skype date. this way, you both set time aside for each other. google hangouts are good too.
  • you know how we all waste too much time on social media? try to cut down on that and instead allocate the time to talking to your friends.
3. notice what your friends post on social media and talk to them about it
  • since noticing things on social media is part of my job, i feel like i do the same when i checking my own personal account. i notice when my friends post vacation photos or a sad facebook status and then talk to them about it. this makes people feel loved and cared about.
4. plan vacations together
  • i think taking trips together with friends really solidifies friendships cause you get to have fun and explore a new country together for a few days without interruptions. it's really the best.
5. be generous and giving: with your love, your time, a listening ear, etc.
  • if you're generous, people will be generous as well.
  • also, when a friend randomly comes to mind, always take action - send them an email, a text, call them. this past week one of my best friends suddenly came to mind and i sent her a quick text. turns out she was sick and resting at home and she said, "it's almost like you knew that i fell sick." follow those promptings and your friends will feel loved. 
well that's all for today.
here are some photos of my beautiful friends from my trip back home:

have a good weekend everyone!
i'm so excited that it's friday tmr.
it's been such a long week!


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