A friend is always there…by Meng Fong

Peanuts Wisdom ..by Charles Schulz, 1922 – 2000

I am in the process of coming out of hibernation.

Looking for a full-time job after a 7 year sojourn into Mommy-dom will do that to you. A couple of weeks ago, I started to ping  people I knew on LinkedIn. I didn’t know I knew or had known so many people.

At the same time, I was freshly out (feels more like Raw-Inside-Out) of a 5-year relationship, I was looking for shoulders to cry on or any gal-pals that would lend an ear  and listen to me lament. Nothing beats fresh female energy, good food, great laughter, and lots of swearing at men after a breakup.

The thing with action is once you start taking it – it creates a momentum of its own. Things start to happen..

So I managed to contact a friend whom I hadn’t spoken to for about  2 years. We worked together about 13 years ago in a crazy new company before the dot-com bust. Things changed a lot in 2 years – she is married now. And she has a fabulous new job working with a very elite wine distributor. And she is trying to start a family. We are trying to catch up for lunch next early next week.

Again – same time 2 weeks ago, an old mentor called me on the phone – a day after  we had connected on LinkedIn. We had a great conversation about the few years I spent working for him in another crazy, wonderful team building a few new businesses that was so successful but was pulled out. Big companies are fickle that way. His kids are all grown – they are finishing college soon.  The last time I saw them – 13 years ago – they were little about 7 or 8. You would go into the office on a weekend and see these twin boys  sat on top of a row of filing cabinets. He would hoist them up, park them there so he wouldn’t have to go look for them around the office when he wanted to leave. We exchanged contact details – we are planning to meet up in January next year when he comes by Singapore. 

Last week, I arranged to have dinner with a girl I knew from yoga classes. We have been going to the same yoga class – once a week for the last 2 years –  and she lived 5 minutes away in the next apartment complex – but we had not ever gone out together or even bumped into each other on the way to the supermarket. Go figure, city living does that to you. We had a great time, a  couple of beer, food, talking about life in general,  girlfriends (hers – yes – she is) and boyfriends (mine). Yaaay! I made a new friend!

My long suffering younger sister whom I love to bits is my sounding post for everything crazy I do. She’s always been there for me in my adult life – divorce, breakup, which dress should I buy, what about these shoes, or this new lipstick or the color of the new backpack. Starting to see the trend? Yes, she puts up with me and all my idiosyncracies (just a better word for crazy-ies). 

But I still remember when I was 14 and an oh-so-full-of-myself teenager – she was 10. She used to follow me around like a puppy-dog. We were in a mall and she was doing her puppy dog thing – yapping at my heels almost  –  I remember turning around at her shouting out loudly in exasperation – “STOP..following ME around!!”.

She remembers it too and never fails to remind me. But you know what, those trespasses of a younger, less wiser me has been forgiven. I didn’t say forgotten. We talk to each other – text, Facetime, Skype at least once a week. We see each other maybe once every 2 or 3 months – even though she lives about 30 minutes drive away. Again, this busy city life creates barriers in time, work and family.

Last night, instead of finishing this article, I went out with 4 other girls (women) whom I have known for nearly  25 years. We all started our first jobs in that wonderful Big Company that created and closed down great businesses. Somehow we found each other  then and have stayed friends. Now, we try to get together at least once a year whenever we are all in the same country at the same time. As we have grown older – we recognize and value each other’s differences and we enjoy the friendship we have built.

I find I am many people rolled into one – mom, friend, sister, girl-friend, volunteer, project manager, cleaning lady(this one is for the moms’ out there), blogger, yoga practitioner –  sometimes it’s hard juggle so many roles. Sometimes, life gets in the way of the things I should be doing or things I would like to do.

These last 2 weeks, I had many life events occurring all at one time,  I realize these friends of mine are precious little gems that I need to polish and keep safe. (Come to me, my pretty..).  I have not created a Bucket List but I have created a People-to-Contact To Do List. 

Here’s how it starts…

1) Write back to my friend from college – who moved from Australia, to California and now back to Australia. Last time I saw her was 10 years ago, last time we talked was 5 years ago.

2) Writing back to my friend who lives in Texas, we went to school together all the way from grade school to high school. I left to Australia for college and she left to the US. We had kept in contact for years after that but somehow when the kids came along – time flew past. She just had a birthday last week – so we had a quick email exchange. I have to write a longer note back. Last time I saw her was 18 years ago, last time we talked – forever…

My list continues…

How many long lost friends have you called in the last year or so?
How many have friends have called or written you and are still waiting, for you to write back?

Life gets in the way sometimes, don’t let it… 

Happy Rest of the Week!


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