20 August 2005

Cherishing old friends

It seems like I talked just to you yesterday! I am always pleasantly surprised how easily conversation flows between me and old friends, like Lizza and Jay, even though we haven't spoken in months. In Jay's case, even years!

The past week has been all about old friends.

I spent four days with Lizza in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Lizza and I have been friends since the seventh grade. We sat next to each other and after the first tentative hello's, we were inseparable until the last days of high school, when Lizza's family emigrated to the US. Through the years we kept in touch. Before the time of email and sms, we would write letters to each other about our first forays into relationships and growing up. Our university days were separate from each other. Only the occassional letters during birthdays and Christmases. Then after I was done with university, my family emigrated to Canada. Suddenly, Lizza was a phone call away! So slowly at first, we let each other back into our lives. Ten years ago, Lizza married Pat and I made my first trip to Coeur d'Alene. Prior to 1995, I believe 12 years had passed since we last saw each other. In any case, it had been a long time. But inspite of the distance in time and geography, Lizza asked me to be one of her bridesmaids. And everytime we spoke on the phone, we would just pick up where we left off. As if our last conversation had just ended a few hours before. Lizza and I have managed to meet up at least once a year since 1998 when we met up in Osoyoos for a girls' weekend. We've met up in Seattle WA, Whistler BC, Leavenworth WA, and of course, Vancouver BC.

This last visit was very relaxing. We talked a lot and got caught up in the little details of our lives. We painted her dresser, took her dog Ivan for a walk, attended church, and went shopping. We ate a whole bag of chips, the entire time feeling guilty at enjoying it so much. We lounged on the back deck and watched Ivan play. It was quality time with my best friend. Definitely time well spent.

Jay was to my university what Lizza was to my high school. I met Jay during my third year in university and just like that we became close friends. We were brought together by our tumultuous relationship with our parents and the up and down emotions we feel trying to make sense of who we are and where we want to go. Jay and I were each other's rock, a united front. He was the one I missed the most when my family moved to Canada. The last time I saw Jay was 8 years ago. I visited him in Cincinnatti where he was studying his masters in urban planning. Email has been blessing since it's made it much easier to keep in touch. This past week, Jay was in San Francisco for business meetings, and we spent over an hour on the phone last Thursday night. It was the same comfortable feeling, conversing with him. And I felt happy about that. So familiar. And yet, there is so much about his life now that I don't know because I am not present in the day-to-day. The little details of his life, the little joys and sorrows. These are the things we don't correspond about in email. We talk of the big things, the major happenings. But not the little ones that are the things that fill in the big picture. Although I feel sad about that, I feel very happy that after all these years of leading separate lives, Jay and I are still friends. Still feel a connection, our lives intertwined somehow. It felt so good and reassuring to hear his voice, to laugh together. It is something to be cherished, friendships like these.

Events like these only strengthen my resolve to care for these friendships. To stay in touch. We lead such busy, hectic lives that finding time is often a challenge. But that is no excuse. There should always be time for friendship and family. Because really, these are what matter most.

3 August 2005

Make a wish and send the email

What to wish for...

I got an email today. One of those read this and send it to 5 people within X minutes and you'll get what you wished for. I always delete these emails. For various reasons. I don't believe that things will actually happen because I forward an email and I don't want to bother people I know with such emails anyway. So I deleted it.

But it got me thinking. One wish. What would I wish for. Jonathan, Ed's boss, asked me a similar question a few nights ago during dinner at Chambar. If I could ask for anything right now, what would I ask for? I said "our mortgage fully paid". I think it's a good choice. A practical choice. We'd have so much disposable income if we didn't have to pay mortgage anymore.

What what about a bigger wish? Peace on earth? End to poverty? Planet earth saved from mankind's destruction? Does it even make sense to wish for these things because they are so BIG. The mortgage thing I can grasp and easily imagine. Peace on earth? That seems so far-fetched.

Anyway, I guess I could wish for happiness always. But do I really always want to be happy? My personal evolution must include some unhappy times. Wealth? That's not a bad wish. I would enjoy being wealthy. But it just sounds so selfish.

I think I will wish for peace inside me. Because I could be unhappy but still feel peace. I think that does happen. Peace inside me and peace inside everyone. That's still big but not too big.