The Art of Friendship - Ale

“Ada apa?” I try to be as calmed as I can when this kind of moment comes. I’ve been thinking if I have to let him go this time, I’ll probably be fine. It’s just surprising that my friendship with Ale turns complicated a bit like a real couple. Started when Ale had a new gf in college that made it difficult for me to find “curhat” time anymore. Later, I moved to Atambua for work then our communication decreased in frequency.

Being in a distance gives me a good opportunity to know who’s worth keeping and who’s letting go (Lana del Ray). Those who truly care will stay. That’s the law of nature. Gratefully, most of my friends are maintain-less. Entering a work life, we don’t talk regularly as we realize we are getting busy. But, if we want to, we do. We’ll find a time to make it happen. And, you know, living in a remote area and having bunch of people who do contact you is heart-warming.

People says your number of friends will get smaller as you get older. It suddenly reminds me of Ale. God, if it gets smaller, please save him for me. He is a nice friend, good listener, gentle, wise, patient and maintain-less. It’s been a long time since our last conversation. The only thing I could do back then was pouring my disappointment through personal blog. Months later, Ale contacted me. He said that HE READ MY POST and felt sorry. HAHAHA I was so embarrassed. He asked me for a short meetup when I had a moment coming back to Java.

And here we are. Sitting in a coffee shop. Putting our best effort to reconnect our precious friendship. I keep asking Ada apa but Ale remains silent. Feels a bit tense. It might be hard for him (as a man) to express a feeling in person, so I begin sharing about my great experiences during life in the eastern. The atmosphere gets better. We talk like the old days. Endless. Fruitful. Shortly, Ale tells a deep confession about how he feels about me. Thank God, our friendship restored.

As the time goes by, the style of friendship definitely changes. My friends and I do have an understanding that each of us has certain priorities and responsibilities. Well, adulting is marked by the greater responsibility we take (sounds creepy for me). On the other hand, it brings us closer to people who have similar frequency. I’m totally grateful that I can be with people that have so. Not that we must have same opinion in particular thing, but we simply agree to disagree. It’s more like embracing the diversity that emerges. We slowly learn about personal values as well, including the way we keep in touch with our closest. Having less opportunity to spend time together doesn’t mean our friendship is over. Not that shallow. According to my memory, I hang out with Ale once in 3 to 4 months, but we can talk for hours in person or phone. I believe quality over quantity.

Having a good relationship is something that I work on since I watched an inspiring video by TED Talk. A study for over 75 years has revealed that the key to a happier and healthier life is having a good social connection with friends, families, neighbours, community or whoever that matters to you. It's not only protect our body (physical health), but also our brain (mental health).


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