Tenderness.

Merry Christmas!

I know I don’t celebrate it, but it’s always sweet to hear it from anyone I know. That person took the time (yes, I know, texting / messaging / calling doesn’t take up that much time, but it still counts) out of the day to send me a greeting. I was on someone’s mind (with positive thoughts) during that moment. As someone who gets easily distracted at times, the notion of having someone thinking about me actually means a lot to me.

Actually, scratch that. Anyone who takes the time out of the day to reach out to me has me on his / her mind, and that makes me feel pretty great.

Personally, I believe that the people I think about during special holidays are the ones that I care about and love the most. It’s not to say that I don’t care about the people I don’t contact during these these days…but I do care less about them compared to the people I think about. Great. I’m trying to aim for optimism and love for this post. I’ll get there.

We all go through different phases in our life. Our priorities during these stages change, which in turn affects almost everything. There’s only a handful of constants in our lives. Think about it – when you were in middle school, your main focus was probably going to school (or you know, skip as many classes as you could while maintaining a passing grade). You hung out with your classmates or some upper / lower grade students the most. Your biggest worries were those individual / group projects, homework, pop quizzes, and tests. How many middle school friends are you still in touch with now? My point exactly. (By the way, if you do have any elementary / middle / high school friends you’re still really close to with right now…they’re pretty much considered a constant in your life. I have a close friend who I’ve known since seventh grade. We probably contact each other once every three months…or longer? but I know I can always lean on him when I need to. He’s one of my anchors.)

Our lives change, and some (if not most) people who are present in your life will fade away. Sometimes it’s because of physical proximity. Sometimes it’s because the relationship is more one-sided, and the person putting in more effort is giving up (note: a healthy relationship with anyone requires participation from both sides to work). Sometimes it’s because of a shift in focus. Sometimes it’s because of irreconcilable differences. This happens to everyone. I remember casting a lot of blame on myself for losing people I cared about. A lot of “if” thoughts appeared in my head. If I were to do this…if I were to do that…maybe that person would still be present in my life. Those were unhealthy and unnecessary thoughts. Sometimes these thoughts pop up, but I just shut them down as much as I could (sorry, total worrywart at times).

It’s also important to note that the relationships that can withstand some of the reasons I’ve listed above are likely to be outliers, and you should cherish them, unless they are toxic. Just because you care about someone, doesn’t mean he / she is healthy for you, and sometimes the best decision is to let that person go. Obviously a friendship that stands the test of time is meaningful, but you can also form meaningful relationships / connections with some people you haven’t known for too long. Time isn’t the only dominating factor of how important a relationship is for me.

I don’t really express how much I appreciate and love the people who are consistently present (by this, I mean I’ve known them for over a decade that they’re still!? here) and present in my life. Take a minute to think about the people who you know you can always reach out to. The people who can put up with your bullshit (and respectfully call you out on it), emotions, insecurities, and fears without judgment. The people who you know you can talk about and do stupid shit with (regrets may or may not occur immediately or the next day). The people who know all of your flaws, but also appreciate your strengths that you might not be aware of at times. The people who are not afraid to tease you, or make fun of your past mistakes (under the circumstances that it’s not offending you and you won’t hold a grudge over it). The people who make you willingly jump out of your comfort zone for, because you feel safe to do so with them. The people who are willing to stick with you when you undergo changes and personal growth.

These friends are so important to me, and I want to let them know that.

Sometimes…or I guess most of the time…I seem emotionally distant and callous, because I don’t want to feel overtly emotional. I do feel a lot, but I have logic and self control to keep me grounded. When I drink, I shed some of my inhibition and am more open to expressing myself. (No, I am not drinking now.)

I have a tender spot for each of these people I care dearly about. I’ve entrusted a part of my heart to each of them. It’s not to say that these people will never hurt me. I don’t know that, but I believe that they are worth the potential hurt and pain. I’m willing to be a listener and a supporter for each of them, and I hope every single one of them know that. I’ll be here to talk about the most mundane topics (yes, including small talk like the weather), to the bigger, scarier things if they are wanting to discuss about these. We’ll laugh and cry and get upset and angry at each other.

So again, Merry Christmas to all those who are currently in my life now. I know how difficult it might be for me to show any sort of emotion or vulnerability at times. I know I try to display the independent and no-nonsense vibe most of the time in order to mask and deal with my insecurities and fears in solitude. I won’t be who I am today without every single one of you, and I hope you’re aware of that.

I love you all. You know who you are.

I’d like to end the post with a beautiful poem by E.E. Cummings, because this sums up how I feel about my loved ones:

 

I Carry Your Heart With Me

“i carry your heart with me (i carry it in 

my heart) i am never without it (anywhere 

i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done

by only me is your doing, my darling)”

 

2 thoughts on “Tenderness.

    1. You are one of the best instances of how the importance and magnitude of relationships shouldn’t be solely based on time. ❤️

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