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Last weekend, our old youth ministry group reunited over brunch and coffee. Some of them have been meeting once in a while these past years but I’m one of the minority who finally showed up this year. Yay to rebuilding friendships!

I’m still not a huge fan of big group gatherings but it was surprisingly pleasant to see them, see us in one dining table once again. As with big groups, it was difficult to talk to everyone at once but just being with them was a day well spent.

We tried to recall a memory with the person we’re exchanging gifts with but a lot of us couldn’t pin a specific event or moment. I guess, that’s how it is when you meet over ten years later. Or maybe, we felt we’re kinda old to get into details. Like, why be cheesy now? Here’s your gift, Merry Christmas, my good ‘ol friend! Haha.

As for me, while looking at every one of us in a circle, I tried to recall specific moments but everything’s a blur. It’s as if I can see our old days fading into pale colors. Should that make me sad? I think not. My memories of how we spent our younger days together may not be as vibrant anymore but how I feel at home with these people is still as bright and warm as our summer camps back then.

This year, I grew to realize that relationships don’t flourish if we don’t put in the work. For the longest time, I was on the extreme end of the low maintenance friendship spectrum but I’m glad some of these people kept on putting in the work of meeting up, catching up, being part of our lives. I’m thankful that some ten years later, despite our individual struggles, we have arrived at a season that agrees to catch up and find time for people we care about.

In this Internet age of articles talking about low maintenance friendships and hugot quotes about letting go of people in our lives, I consider myself blessed to have this ‘village’ I can always come back to and call home.

Photos from Mhe, Myk and Willa

to all the friends i lost touch in recent years | | a blog by Joan Narciso

To all the friends I have lost touch with in recent years

Four months ago, I helped a friend with a work plan she has to present to her bosses and colleagues. Her topic had me going through my college files and folders to look for something that could help her. I didn’t know that browsing through old reviewers and  projects could hit me with waves of sadness. I sat in front of my laptop and realized how close I was with some people back then, and how we have drifted apart.

I had to pause and process the heavy feeling as I thought that there were friendships I could have worked on despite circumstances and feelings and distance and time. But here I am, comfortably hiding behind my ‘low maintenance friendship‘ and/or ‘sometimes people just drift apart,’ and/or ‘there are just some people you move on from‘ reasons.

Admittedly, this isn’t the first time I thought of reaching out to good old friends. As morbid as it may sound, every time depression and suicide are brought to our attention, I think of people who matter to me. Sometimes, I reach out to them; most times, I let my own challenging life take over and just hope to God they are fine.

I had a lot going on in my life for the past three years. Add that I grew less and less fond of social media in general. But I’m trying and hoping to change a few things. I haven’t gotten around reaching out to everyone I need and want to but I’m slowly getting there. It’s not easy and I don’t want my words to lack action.

But I hope I could put this out for all my friends from years ago — high school, college, youth group, cousins, colleagues turned friends,

I’m sorry I just lost touch with you. I’m sorry I didn’t work on my end of our relationship. I’m sorry if I used to talk about being an extension of the love of Jesus and have failed to extend that love to you as I faded into my own little world.

Life is short and I know this won’t mean much but I want you to know I still look back at our days together and get thankful for the times we shared. You were a part of my life and a part of me today is because of the bond I shared with you.

Somewhere, we lost touch and I might have done something that hurt you or we simply grew apart. Or maybe we now have different interests and stuff to do. Regardless, please know that there are days I remember you and I pray for your wellness.

I don’t post on social media these days and I don’t browse my Facebook newsfeed either. But if you ever need to rant or vent or simply talk about something you are happy about, you can message me. Sometimes we have a lot of friends and yet we feel like we got no one to talk to. I hope when you get days like that, you’d remember me.

Adulting, as we know, is a series of days filled with endless things that demand our attention, resources and time. I hope you know that when you need to pause, or when you need someone to help you pause, you got this one friend who is every bit hurdling challenges but has now learned to be intentional in her friendship with you. By that, I mean, we can chat, talk over the phone or grab some cheap coffee as we look back, pause the present, and look forward to better days.

~ Joan ♥

P.S. This isn’t a shortcut way for you to reach out to me first.. this is just some sort of heads up so you wouldn’t suddenly think I’m reaching out to you out of nowhere. ♥