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I thought long and hard whether to give this friends thing a shot or not. I started writing around early March 2020, and stopped right after the quarantine started. Today, I decided to finish it.

We interact with so many people everyday. From the “pliti palihug” when riding a jeep, to the simple “Excuse me” when asking someone to move aside. Statistics suggest that an average person interacts with at least 10,000 people in his lifetime. However, this is somehow an impossible statistic because the number of people you meet will greatly depend on a number of factors.

Out of all the people you’ve interacted with, you probably became friends with only at least 1/32 of them. If you don’t believe me, go ahead and list all their names without looking at any reference. Chances are, you’ll barely make it to a hundred.

I’ve met so many people in my life. I’ve lived in two cities, and have interacted and made friends with a good number of people in both. In grade school, each grade level is asked to perform in front of a crowd every December. Usually, we’re not arranged by section/class so we’re bound to sit next to a stranger. It went on for a few years until graduation. Looking back, I still remember some of the names and faces of the people I sat close with, but I never thought about keeping close tabs with them.

When I moved out of my hometown for college, I resided in the university dormitories. It was a whole new level of exposure to me. I lived in a shared room with shared bathrooms found outside the room. I’ve made a whole bunch of new friends. During summer, I take up minor subjects to lessen my load during the regular term. As a result, I’ve been classmates with students from different courses and year levels. I became Facebook friends with some and even became friends with a really small number of them.

Fast forward to post graduation, I met A LOT of people at work. I’m not even exaggerating. I became good friends with some and not so with quite a number. This was the part in my life that slapped me with the reality that meeting new people does not directly mean meeting new friends. I’m not talking about friends who don’t talk, but NOT friends at all.

I see some of them on social media, but really how “friends” am I with them? For some time, I thought about it. I came to a realization that there are all sorts of friends that you can have. I’m not gonna list it out because people have different ways of dealing with it. There’s no strict formula to it.

People change at a rate so fast that it gets really hard to catch up. One moment you’re friends, the next moment you’re not. One minute you’re singing your hearts out in karaoke, the next minute you’re not. It’s sad how friends can go by so quickly. 

I’ve had countless people tell me (and I also tell people this) that priorities change. It’s possible that your friends have more pressing priorities to deal with than hanging out. I don’t blame them. I don’t blame myself. So who do I blame? No one. It’s a mysterious fact of life.

I’m not the best at making and keeping relationships as I’ve made a lot of mistakes and shortcomings. But to the ones who really truly matter, I make it a point to reach out and ask how they are. It’s not that I want to invade personal space, but it’s my way of showing that I care and that I’m here to lend a listening ear whenever they need it.

To a certain extent, losing a friend is going to bother me. Hell it’s going to trigger my overthinking mind. But really there isn’t much that I can do about it. At the end of the day, each friend has his/her own life to live. However, if for a second it crossed your mind to catch up, I’m all up for it.

And to the rest of you who came but never stayed, how have you been?

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