As usual, someone can better articulate my points with their words than mine. After reading Soo-Inn's commentary, i start to ponder what chinese new year means to me.
I miss my family dearly. I miss all my friends backhome sorely.
On the bright side, thanks to technology, i called my friends in KL. I called my old friends, two of which i got to know from IRC when i was 17,in the midst of my SPM preparation( ha!) yet we still keep in touch with each other.Yue siew thoughtfully called me from KL when she was out with our common friends, Eng lung, Chee way, Jing sheng and put me on loud speaker, so i could speak to them. Lots of memory flooded my mind. Pleasant memories of knowing someone who is much older than me, someone who studied overseas while i was still the gullible 17, preparing for my SPM. Now some has entered into parenthood (one of my male friends was actually preparing food for his crying baby when i called), some learning the meaning of marriage, some enjoying singlehood (make the most out of it wil l be my advice).
I begin to realise memory is such a powerful weapon. Memory can cripple us, memory can refresh us. Memory can hinder us from healing, memory can give us hope for the future. To be human is to have a memory. We can choose to remember some and forget others. E-mailing primary school friends, calling old friends refresh my memories: the time we used to spend together, the secrets we used to share, the conflicts we used to have,the forgiveness we have received and gave.
Although all the above can be done anytime of the year, culture and festive season just give us opportunities to remind ourselves the core element of our humanity : relationship.We are a product of relationship (of our parents) and we are constantly learning how to build relationship, reconcile, to love, to give and receive.They serve to remind us that we don't live for ourselves, pursuing our own agenda, using people around us (including relationships) to achieve our goals, we are not indispensable (the sun will continue to rise without me).
Bottom line, we do need each other Genuinely.
As i grow older, it has become harder for me to build genuine friendship. As sincere as i am, as genuine as i want to be, there is this fear in me that i will be used by others, or this self-protection tends to dominate. The fear of betrayal, the fear of being hurt. With this wall, it's also hard for me to get to know others as they are. They too tend to maintain me at arm's length. This highlights why i go all out to keep my old friends.
Chinese new year serves as a reminder that who i am today is a product of the relationships and friendships that have nourished my soul, supported me in times of adversity, taught me, accepted me for who i am. Friendships that were made at different stages of my life influenced and made me who i am today, and will continue to mould me in the future ( be it relationship with God, with families, or colleagues).
Thank God for Chinese New year. Thank God i am chinese.
My friends: we have come a long way, and frienship is for life.
To my primary school friends: We have reached the 2 decades milestone (since standard 1 (age 7)and we will persevere till the end.