Earlier this week, I walked into a meeting and I was surprised to see all the familiar faces that I once knew, staring at me as I walked into the room. It reminded me of the sheer quantity of people I used to know. I don’t mean it as a brag, but when you’re from a small town like Kuching, you know everyone, and everyone knows you.
When I was 16, I was an active member of my church community and even a few school societies. Of course, being from an all-girls school, this also meant that I had a lot of friends of the opposite sex. All gender barriers were broken once I really got to know guys. At that time, it didn’t matter. Both guys and girls made great friends, and I prided myself in having many of them.
Fast forward to 6 years later– and here I am. I am able to count the number of friends I have with two hands. Don’t get me wrong, I still know many people, but how many of them actually stuck around long enough to be my friends? To be fair, I haven’t been doing the best job keeping in contact with people who were once important to me either.
A lot of it can be attributed to the fact that I have adopted a more introverted nature over the years. I don’t remember when or how it developed, but it just did. I stopped taking part in church activities, and everyone went their separate ways after secondary school. With all the time that has lapsed, much has changed. People have changed; friendships have evolved and devolved.
I, personally, also stopped attending social events unless they are beneficial to me in one way or the other. In campus, I can’t sustain conversations beyond topics regarding academics for more than five minutes. That’s the way it is now– but it doesn’t bother me one bit. Why?
Because the friends who actually have stuck with me and stood the test of time are the friends I cherish the most. The girl who used to be proud of having many friends is now a woman who is proud of having a handful of great friends. Maybe that’s part and parcel of growing up– weeding out the unnecessary and keeping the beautiful.