Out of the blue I received an email on Monday from a friend whom I have not seen in fourteen years. We’ve traded very occasional emails, decreasing in volume to about once a year as of late. The friend was in town on business and suggested we meet for dinner so last night we did.
When we last saw each other fourteen years ago, it was on my first trip out of the US, visiting him in Singapore. He had just returned from almost ten years living and studying in the states and he was doing his compulsory military service. Already, though, he was laying the groundwork to achieve great things, becoming one of the first people to identify themselves publicly as gay or lesbian in Singapore. In the years since, he has become very involved in pushing for more rights for GLBT people across Asia.
Back when we first met while still in school, I could already tell that he was going to accomplish a lot in his life. My pride in knowing him has not diminished even as our communication has grown less frequent.
The opportunity to meet again and to introduce him to Tawn was a nice one. There was a little awkwardness (I felt, at least) because it has been easier for me to keep up with his activities due to his visibility, than for him to keep up with mine. Such is the life when you are friends with a public figure, I suppose.
I hope we’ll stay in touch in the coming years. He remains a passionate person who is committed to important social causes. I enjoy seeing his success. I also hope that we’ll be able to connect again on the level that led to our friendship in the first place, a level beyond the banalities of “What have you been up to?” and “So who are you seeing now?” That takes time to reestablish, perhaps.
14 years is quite a trip away from each other! I hope you’re able to reconnect like you want to 🙂
That’s great! 🙂
So Chris… what have you been up to? Seriously, it’s good to reconnect and rebuild friendships. I’m pretty bad at maintaining friendships.
Didn’t you take some pictures with him? Jeez, Chris, you didn’t think we were interested in seeing him? lol.Glad you reconnected with him and he saw you and Tawn together.
I wonder which restaurant you guys went. It nice to get in touch again after more than a decade!
Awww..I can really relate to this. It’s interesting to observe an old friend from afar isn’t it? I wish it was easier to reconnect. I never did receive a response from that letter I wrote, but I know he keeps up. I guess the only thing we can do is stay open to the possibilities of friendship no matter the distance or length of separation.
Meeting someone after 14 years? Whoa! I wouldn’t even know what to talk about.
@CurryPuffy – Kam Phun, a new Issan restaurant at Central World that I’ll take you to next time you’re here. Interestingly, the Crown Prince’s wife and toddler son (heir to the throne) were dining there with a group of people, just two tables over from us.@Dezinerdreams – Well, at your age you would have to go back and talk about second grade, right? =D (Sorry, couldn’t resist…)@lil_squirrel4ever – I did think of the correlation between my entry and that letter you wrote.@ZSA_MD – While I thought of including a picture, since he is a bit of a public figure I didn’t want that to distract from the story.@ElusiveWords – I don’t know if it is a “good” or “bad” thing, maintaining friendships. It takes a lot of work and I think many factors conspire against friendships that are stretched across time and distance.@secade – We’ll see how things play out in the months and years to come.@yang1815 – Yes.
This got me thinking.There are people I haven’t seen in years, who I can immediately pick up with again as if no time has passed at all. And yet there are people who, if you lose touch with them even for just a year, it seems as if you can no longer communicate anymore. What are the defining factors in these relationships?Rhetorical, I don’t expect you to answer. Just something I’m pondering.I think back fourteen years, and realize that while it sounds like a long time; I still remember that year very well. Well enough to write about events and people in great detail. It makes me wonder, those people I have not seen since then; how much they’ve changed, and if the descriptions I remember still apply?
Reconnecting with someone like that is so cool. Hopefully you will be able to keep in better contact with each other now!
I’m still trying to locate a childhood friend of mine who lived across the street. We were really close friends from the time we were in first grade in 1938 until her family moved to California in 1946 and kept in touch for 10 years after that. I wonder if she’s still living since she is now 77 years old. I really would like to know what happened to her. Stay in touch now that you’ve gotten together again!