On processing relationships

I haven’t had a lot of experiences when it comes to relationships. While some people might be able to count the number of their dating relationships into two-digits number, mine can be counted with only my fingers. Due to this, I’ve always felt like a bit of an outsider. A stranger in the middle of her 20s, in the middle of people who by this time have already met their (presumably) true loves.

And apparently, not only that I’m bad at dating, I’m also bad when it comes to friendships, by what I assumed to be today’s standards: (i) the number of people who followed you on social media, (ii) the number of people who congratulated your birthday on social media, and (iii) the number of people you are going to invite on your wedding.

When I was in my teenage years, the standards referring to point (i) and (ii) were something that I never cared about. By then I already knew that I was more of a laid-back person who sucked at gaining new friends, even more so when it comes to “digital friends”. It doesn’t mean that I didn’t have any friends, but more like I only kept small circle of friends. They grew throughout the years for sure, but they never got to the point where my social media followers’ numbers are in thousands. Heck, even my LinkedIn has more connections than my Instagram (lol). And as I kept receiving wedding invitation from friends, the thought hits me hard, who should I invite if I had a wedding one day, and most importantly, will they come?

Relationships are complicated.

Pretty much like other people in the world, there are moments where I appreciate being alone and moments where I’d rather not be. As I grew older (tho none the wiser), I found myself to be enjoying the companion of others much much more than when I was back in college. And I don’t see anything wrong with that. Again, it doesn’t mean that my circle of friends has suddenly grew exponentially big. It’s just that I appreciate my relationships with others more.

Most of the times, I enjoyed the companion of others and they doubled or maybe tripled my happiness. That feeling of happiness usually doesn’t last long. It is akin to having a well-cooked hot Japanese udon with perfectly half boiled eggs: brief, fleeting yet warm and comforting.

Relationships are a hit-and-miss.

Sometimes it is very hard to make sure that the relationship isn’t one-sided. How can I possibly know that the feeling is mutual when people are rarely honest even to themselves? I too, often get confused on the tiers of friendship that people have so commonly built. On the top of my head there are friends, good friends, best friends, and BFFs. How am I supposed to categorized them? The level of closeness? Well I wonder, how do you define your level of closeness?

Relationships would probably easier if someone could come up with a standard measuring system.

And yet even though I enjoy being social more than I used to, I still love spending some quiet times for myself. And in those quiet times, I often asked myself, if I stripped myself of who I’m usually associated with, then who am I? Who do people see me as? After all, people often see your worth based on who you hang out with. The ones you always tag on your Instagram. The ones you always mentioned on your no-longer-there Path. The ones you followed on your Twitter.

No relationships last forever. After sometimes, they typically withered away just like a dying flower to a varying degree. Some can be brought back to life once you watered them, yet most of them are just abandoned. We buy a new flower in the hopes that the new one will last longer than the previous ones.

Each relationship has its lifespan. Most of the time they fall apart. Sometimes you can predict them, yet most of times you can’t and it left you feeling bitter and broken.

And so one day, thanks to a conversation with a friend, I ended up questioning, do I really connect with all the people surrounding me, or do I just put on another persona that fits them? Will it be okay to hang on to relationships that are barely there?

Prompt: makeshift