|Source of picture: Le Portillon|
More often than not, I take for granted the situations I am blessed with. I'm doing my best to rectify that attitude by slowing down and giving real thought to those who have made the opportunities possible. I hope this post reflects how truly grateful I am to the friends who have continued our relationships even though we may not see or communicate with each other on a regular basis.
After meeting people from many countries, I'd always develop an immature worry in the back of my mind that whimpers "What if we don't stay in contact? What if you forget me? I may not ever see you again!" The continuation of a friendship takes substantial effort and if the persons are separated by distance, dedication. It may be all to easy to give up, at that point.
I've always had friends who lived in different parts of the world. The furthest lives in Japan. She was my host sister when I went on exchange to Kyoto, Osaka, approximately 7 years ago. Since then, we've communicated through written letters, email, MSN, Skype and of course, Facebook. I eagerly await for the humongous gift packages at Christmas time from my former host family. The boxes are normally filled with small, cute Japanese trinkets and stationery. I send them Australian souvenirs and generous amounts of Tim Tam packets. (Okay, so I'm not the most imaginative mind going around...) We have a strong bond and I truly miss seeing her. Unfortunately, since the disastrous earthquakes and nuclear crisis, the fondness has been replaced with worry and fear for her and her family's safety in Japan. (As of this moment, they are all safe!). Needless to say, the communication is more frequent nowadays...
There are friendships I'd formed and kept with people who live in Singapore. Some of them I met in the country itself, others I have met in my hometown and who have moved back to their country of origin. We check in with one another just to see how the other is doing, or even for a simple hello. One calls me every Sunday to tell me about how many pets he currently has in his house! Haha. Sometimes, the conversations are mundane but the thought of picking up the phone on a Sunday afternoon and talking to someone overseas about anything is, to me, pleasant.
Long distance friendships are sustainable, so long as both are willing to commit and dedicate themselves through it. Some think of commitment and dedication as being arduous but it needn't be the case. Something as simple as a text or email can go a long way - there is alot of contentment within the feeling of not being forgotten. I am aware that life can, and does, interfere with our friendships but with mediums such as Facebook, Twitter and your phone(!), conversations with anyone around the world is accessible with the tapping of your keypad. There really is no excuse for the lack of communication between people nowadays and the rewards are worth more than the 2 minutes it takes out of our respective lives to say hello. So in saying that, I might just shout my friends an email or a text soon. They aren't that distant after all.