Che, one of my oldest and dearest friends, posted a photo of the four of us on Facebook. Apparently, the photo was taken 10 years ago. But before that photo was taken, we had been firm friends for ages.
I am so proud of the four of us, Che, Joanne, Maries and me. We hadn’t all grown up together. Che and Joanne went to the United Methodist church my mom transplanted us to (I stuck it out at the church I grew up in for a few weeks and then finally moved too). Maries and her family moved to Fairview and looked for a Methodist church and found ours. We weren’t all immediately friends. Che and Joanne and I were friendly, but I don’t think we became close until we all went to summer camp together. I am however, very thankful for the time when we became “real” friends. I don’t think I would’ve made it through my formative years if it hadn’t been for them.
Our friendship isn’t perfect, it’s got cracks. We’ve had arguments, some unspoken and I’m sure there are heartaches we haven’t expressed. But I think we overcame them because we grew up together in faith. I don’t know how you define religious, but my faith is important to me. I know their faiths are important to Che, Joanne and Maries too. I believe that what makes our friendships strong is because the foundations of our friendships is our faith. Our first, proper steps in our journey of faith were taken together. I firmly believe that our friendships are stronger because we grew in the Lord together.
We’re all a lot older now…and on other sides of the globe! I’m in England, Maries is in solicitor training in Australia, Joanne is mum to two darling babies in the Philippines and Che, well, Che is our resident jetsetter (I think she’s in Taiwan…at the moment!). I haven’t seen Che in years (8 to be specific) because when I went home (2 years ago!) she was away. I miss living so close to Maries (we lived on the same street in our little subdivision on Quezon City) and I miss Joanne being a text message and a quick 10 minute drive away (Che and Joanne are sisters by the way).
I wish my friends were with me. Because they would find it significant that we were living in the UK, where the Methodist faith started. I wish I were with my friends, because I miss THEM. It’s easy enough to make friends, but you miss the friends who KNOW you. I miss our Starbucks coffee dates (yes, there are other coffee chains available). Our gossiping at each others’ houses. I miss going out to movies with them. I just miss being with them. I do find myself wishing that there wasn’t such a huge time difference between us. Because there are times when I just want to share with them what I’ve seen, or something I saw on TV that I think they’d find funny too!
I suppose that is what happens when you follow your dreams. This what happens when we all grown up. You’ll need to expand your territory and you’ll have to leave the people that keep you grounded. It’s not the best of situations. In a perfect world, you grow up and live exactly where you were born, with the people you love and love you back. But it’s not a perfect world, is it? Not really. So we all go away and find ourselves and stretch our wings.
What is comforting to me though, is the fact that when we are together, it’s like we all never left Quezon City, or Fairview Park United Methodist Church, it’s like our friendships were never paused or there aren’t several thousand miles between us. Till we meet again girls!