[BGmusic: Once Upon a Dream by Lana del Rey]
Last Sunday, on the 26th, I turned 26, the last number before I enter the DREADED LATE 20s, when I am sure to shrivel up into the little old spinster I was always destined to be.
All in all, I had a great birthday. I whisked myself away to the beach, bringing along with me some high school friends for company, and we welcomed my aging with mirth brought about by:
- our long-overdue reunion
- the seaside
- making music
- mint-flavored shisha (now one of my favorite things)
It had actually been years since I had seen most of my high school friends. It goes without saying that they had changed since the last time we’d hung out, but then again, so had I. The thing is, in spite of how much we had shifted shapes, we were still recognizable underneath it all, still the same teenagers who had learned how to waltz, conjugate, and compute for the value of x together. We had taught each other how to play the guitar, speculated about the mysteries of sex together, comforted each other through the first pangs of heartache with candy and soda, and mucked around school like the kids we were, unashamed. And there we were, almost 10 years after graduation, still making music together, still turning to each other for comfort, still mucking around, refusing to act our age.
The weekend before that, I visited a college girlfriend in Antipolo with two guy friends, all of whom I hadn’t seen in two years. Again, it was different but the same, and though we weren’t really there for each other during the last couple of years, being with people who knew me when I was younger was nice. It was like I was tapping into memories of my past self, becoming her all over again.
I’ve always envied people who have really old friends who have stuck with them since pre-school i.e. forever. I think it comes from that desire to have someone notice what goes on in your life, because if no-one notices, then it didn’t happen. (Cue tree falling in the forest.) This reminds me of this one line from Shall We Dance, a line that happens to be one of my favorite movie lines of all time and also my philosophy on love, marriage, and now, friendship:
Quote for the day:
“We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet… I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things – all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness’.”
- Beverly Clark, played by the wonderful Susan Sarandon
I guess in the absence of constantly present friends and a life partner, those like me can either turn to social media and instagram/tweet every single moment (screaming NOTICE ME NOTICE ME NOTICE ME!!!), or settle for the occasional catch-up with old friends while making the most of the relationships we have right now, no matter how ephemeral they seem to be. It feels like – brace yourself for a clumsy metaphor – it’s like, instead of having all your photos in one place, you have them scattered in different albums held by different people, so the only way you can tap into that past version of yourself is by tracking those people down and COERCING them to have coffee with you.
Perhaps all I’m saying is, if you’re reading this, come out from your cave, spend just a little time with me, and if you’ll be my momentary witness, I shall be yours! LET’S NOTICE EACH OTHER!!