真真假假, 假假真真,
我可是处在真假不分。

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Low Maintenance Friendships

Just thinking about how I’ve been hearing people boast about their low maintenance friendships. Something that I personally would never do because I can’t seem to come to terms with that term, even though I haven’t put in much time to think through it. 

Just read Luke’s caption about his meeting with his low maintenance friends and he ended off with “We should upgrade soon.” For once, that sounded different from the usual, and that sparked off some thoughts.

The boasts with low maintenance friendships often surround how even though they rarely meet, they have much to talk about. Hence, it’s not necessary to meet often to maintain a friendship. It just suddenly struck me that isn’t that duhh? If you haven’t met someone – just like how when I first meet a stranger – there’s all sorts of things to talk about because that’s how much we’ve missed out on each other’s lives. During such a meet up, we talk about what each other hasn’t already known, so yeah, it’s just an indication of how much we’ve missed out.

Yet at the same time, it probably doesn’t feel like we’ve missed out much because. We don’t bother actually. Think about it. You aren’t curious about his life, that’s why you don’t ask about his life, and it’s simply that you don’t bother. Maybe you care about him to some extent, but you definitely prioritised some/many friends or things over him. To put it bluntly, he is on your low priority list.

That’s it. That’s all.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that it’s wrong or that it’s a sin to do that. We all do that; I do that too. That’s because we have limited time and resource. But you know, just admit it and not sugar-coat it into a beautiful-magazine-scene that kinda stuff.

I have a few friends whom I hardly meet, too, for various reasons from both sides. I have my own share of “low maintenance friendships” too. The rare occasions we meet, yeah they definitely felt like great meet-ups with never-ending conversations. One of those friends, I used to only bump into her once a semester because of our time table differences, but I enjoyed every opportunity we had. Each meeting with fruitful conversation makes me leave feeling great about the friendship, but these make me yearn to meet them up soon to find out about their lives even more. Definite not a “This is such a wonderful low-maintenance friendship meet-up, let’s continue to rarely meet-up.” It’s the #weshouldupgradesoon, said Luke and I quote.

Just some raw thoughts.

Low Maintenance Friendships

Just for You

Last Saturday, I had half the mind of letting my body have the say the next morning, and maybe drop a uh-oh text to say, “I overslept.” I reached home close to midnight and by the time I washed up it was very late anyway. 

I woke up half an hour later than I would have intended to, however. There’s no way I could convince God with this excuse. So I got myself out of bed and gave myself 15 minutes to get myself out of the house. Surprisingly, I reached well on time – 10 minutes before service started – despite having left the house late.

Community is not enticing. I have no motivation to turn up. But just one. One reason. For God’s sake.

Well, amidst all these struggles, one good thing that came out of it was that I can say, I turned up for You, God. With more certainty than when the struggles weren’t real.

Just for You

On Cue

Sharing with the LG about how the sermon applies to our lives. Before sharing, I was thinking about what to share, and I remembered the conversation I had with God. So I started my mental preparation – do not crumble, tell the story matter-of-factly. 

It was my turn:

I was just telling God, “You don’t like that hor. I tried whatever I could.” It felt like God pangseh-ed me each time He called me to do something, and then the outcome remained the same. So I asked Him, “Where were You all these while?” And He replied, “In your tears, in your struggles.”

And my tear was quite on cue. It came down when I said “tears”. Totally not cool with that. Within me I was just feeling shucks why did I, please don’t mind me at all, because I’m really done with that. Hoping that my LGmates don’t come and counsel me on that because I’m past it alright; don’t even remind me.

Perhaps it’s just how God is so real that it touched me. I woke up this morning like nothing had happened, other than feeling a tinge of regret for tearing while telling the story.

On Cue

Responsibility

Attended a workshop on StrengthsFinder on Friday in an attempt to understand more about it. So this guy shared about how the Responsibility talent theme plays out in his life:

There’s only 1 promise that I have rescinded, which means withdraw. What happened was that both my friend and I got drunk. At that point in time, he had just gone through a break-up, and he asked me, “You’ll always be here for me right?” And I said, “Yes”. Some years ago, he went overseas and never came back. We lost touch eventually, but I know that if he ever calls, I will want to be there for him. I guess now it’s unlikely that he will call since we haven’t even spoken for so long, and I thought it’s time to let go of this promise.” – Daniel

I thought that sounded familiar, and for a moment I realised I’m not alone in this. I also began to understand why a good friend once asked, “Why is it that you are so good to your friends?” – sounds nice here but that friend meant it as a criticism actually. What he shared definitely helped me to understand a bit more about this part of myself.

I hate breaking promises, so I don’t make them easily. Even things like ‘I will always be here for you’ don’t come out of my mouth easily. Because, like him, if we make a promise, we want to keep it. Our words to another mean a lot to us.

I once had a mentor whom I had disappointed when I rebeled at the age of 16. Since then, we stopped speaking. Still, every special occasions like her birthday (which happens to be in just another 3 minutes time), Chinese New Year or Christmas, I would drop a text to wish her well. This went on for 5 years, and she’s someone who holds much importance in my heart. It was only until the Defining Chapters camp when God revealed through Yvonne that I had been carrying the blame of the incident and it’s time for forgive myself that I had moved on from it.

Just a few nights ago though, I looked back and was surprised. It’s been 9 years since the incident. And what surprised me more is that she’s almost 40 now; I knew her when she was 26. She’s always lived a private life. I wonder, how she’s been, how does she look like now?

And random sudden thought: I just realised I have quite a “fatal” combination of talent themes. Relator combined with Responsibility. This sounds like a painful combination haha build deep relationships in which I hold on to what I say but then when conflicts happen and issues don’t ever get resolved, wah ouch. Needa learn to manage these better.

Responsibility

Entitlement

A workplace where cooperation is not seen as necessary but as a favour. Requiring begging and placating from one to another. Where gifts are sometimes regarded more as buying favours rather than out of love. Such is an unhealthy work environment.

Was also offered 10 cups of coffee in exchange of a favour. I declined. I will exchange for your friendship with those 10 cups of coffee.

Entitlement