New York City Photo Journal & Some Thoughts on Friendship
Hi lovely people! Since my last post, I've celebrated a birthday, visited my parents in Shanghai for said birthday, read one (very depressing) book, hit a personal milestone, shared in the joy of a few friends' milestones, learned of some terrible news, took one pretty big risk, and spent Thanksgiving in New York - the last being the one I'll cover today.
This trip was booked rather last-minute, so I can't say I did the best job planning everything out. Coupled with the 13-hour jet lag, I unfortunately found myself having to opt out of meeting up with some old friends living in the city.
That being said, the trip was always meant to be a sweet reunion with one particular friend who I desperately needed to have a reunion with. We've been best friends since our first year in university, and I feel so fortunate that we've stayed close in spite of the 13-hour time difference, and now have each other's support as we get older and face the savage and sometimes demoralising adult world together.
As suggested by the fact that I've already typed this word 10 times since the beginning of this post, the theme of my life over the past month or so has been friendship: having it, treasuring it, and - fortunately - keeping it that way.
I've always been someone who has a few very close friends - ones you'd call besties in childhood, BFF in adolescence, and family in adulthood. I try to be friendly with everyone, but a only latch on to a few and don't let go.
Quality over quantity is the name of the game, and now as I enter the tail-end of my 20s, I've not only realised just how fruitful it is to have developed these close friendships, but how crucial they have been in informing every fibre of who I was and am.
Growing up, your friends were your most valued companions - before you all grew up and starting having serious boyfriends and girlfriends, before you had to start taking care of other people. Only after life gets complicated, messy, and disappointing did I start to see my friends in a different light.
Friends became more than people I wanted to spend time with, but people who were solace from time. Even after we've been tainted by realities of adulthood - unrealised dreams, failure, loss - there's no passage of time with friends who knew us at our most naive and uninhibited.
They know what we wanted to be 'when we grow up', but don't judge if we get off track. They know who all our shitty ex's are, and are happy for us when we find the right person. They know our how we struggled in the past, and are proud of us for the people we've become.
Friendship, at its core, is journeying with someone through life and facing its ups and downs knowing you're not alone. That person, who was once a stranger, hopes for your happiness, and shares in your sadness. There's some magic in that.
That's why the passage of time doesn't matter; you can't take back the memories and you can't erase a relationship, which is why there are very few things more fulfilling in life than having a best friend.