The Art of Friendship - Ale

“Ada apa?” I tried to calm myself down when this kind of moment came. I have been thinking if I have to let him go this time, I’ll probably be fine. It was just surprising that my friendship with Ale became a bit complicated like a real couple. It started when Ale had a new gf in college that sometimes made it difficult for me to find “curhat” time anymore. Fast forward, I moved to Atambua for work and 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 would stay. That was the law of nature. Gratefully, most of my friends were less maintenance. Entering a work life, we didn’t talk regularly as we realized each of us was getting busy. But, if we wanted to, we did. We would find a time to make it happen. And, you know, living in a remote area and having a bunch of people who did contact you was heart-warming.

People say your number of friends will get smaller as you get older. It suddenly reminded me of Ale. God, if it gets smaller, please save him for me. He was a nice friend, a 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 bringing out all my disappointment on my personal blog. A few 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 come home.

And here we were. Sitting in a coffee shop. Putting our best effort to fix our precious friendship. I kept asking Ada apa? but Ale stayed silent. It felt a bit tense in the beginning. It might be hard for him (as a man) to express a feeling directly in person, so I broke the ice by sharing my experiences living in the eastern part of Indonesia. The atmosphere got better. We started talking like in the old days. Endless. Fruitful. Shortly, Ale told a deep confession about how he felt about me. Thank God, our friendship was restored.

As 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 to me). On the other hand, it brings us closer to people who have a similar frequency. I’m totally grateful that I can be with people that have so. Not that we must have the same opinion on one 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 fewer opportunities 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 or 4 months, but we could talk for hours in person or by phone. I believe in 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, neighbors, community, or whoever that matters to you. It's not only taking care of our body (physical health) but also our brain (mental health).


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