I love these moments where I realise things. Those enlightening moments, regardless of ones that either make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, or ones that break your heart but you’re relieved at the same time, or ones where you can proudly look back and be assured that you did the right thing.
A day after Christmas, I realised one such thing. Part of this thought was triggered by a post that I saw in Facebook, namely this picture:
Now, know that I have nothing against those who go through with this tradition. But personally, I think that if you want to better yourself, you should; any time of the year, and not just wait until New Year’s day to decide on that resolve.
Why wait till the end of the year to decide that you want to be a better you?
Why can’t you act on it the moment you’ve found a certain aspect that you want to improve on?
And while I was thinking on that wavelength, my thoughts wandered to another related topic: That blood is thicker than water.
Although both topics are not directly related, somehow, with my brain functioning the way it does, I just thought of it.
I suddenly began to think of all the times my family and I have disagreed on something or can’t stand each other. And let’s face it, even as much as two people can get along, there will be times when one person does something that the other just cannot stand.
But why then, in the case of families, do they still stick together, regardless of how many times they fight and annoy each other’s throats out?
Let’s take several case studies for example. In this case, it will be regarding family and friend; something that, hopefully, those of you reading will be able to relate on a more personal level.
First person: My sister.
Truthfully, I can’t stand the way she always eventually pushes the responsibility of her pets to the rest of the family. We don’t always see eye-to-eye on matters, and there was even a long period of time where we never spoke to each other (almost a year) from a serious argument. During that time, we condemned each other to death. We disagreed and criticized everything the other did. It came to the extent where we didn’t even want to be in the same room as the other person. Back when we were younger, she would whack me with the nearest object at every opportunity, knowing full well that she would not get in trouble with my mother. There were times I bled from her whacking.
Second: My best friend.
We were both in 3rd grade when we met each other, and we couldn’t stand the sight of each other back then. Even when we became friends, there were times she would do things that made me silently roll my eyes in annoyance. There were times she couldn’t stand my attitude towards something, and she would get annoyed and mad at me. At times, our disagreement would make both of us refuse to talk to the other for days.
Well, of course, I’ve been living with my sister my whole life. And I’ve known my best friend for 16 years.
What is it then, that despite the huge arguments and disagreements, result in us still being in contact with each other, never mind close?
I believe that the answer is simple: Effort.
Keep in mind that it takes two to tango; it will never work if only one person is making all the effort to salvage the friendship/relationship.
When the light clicked it my brain, it all became very clear to me.
In my sister’s case, ever since I could remember, she had always took out her anger on me when she was younger. She clawed, scratched, pinched, poked, kicked, threw chairs at me and hit me with them, stabbed my head with pens, and hit me with any object she could get her hands on. And my mum would merely repremind her when she found out, and, in fact, scolded ME for not giving in to my sister.
I hated both of them for it. They made me suicidal. But for some reason, even then, I had loved my sister to death. And when we had that major fight, it was my sister who had broken the ice and started talking to me first. I remember very clearly it was on one of the nights of my dad’s Rotary Club Installation Night at Zenith Hotel. The air of our conversation was awkward for a good minute or so. But after that, it was as if nothing had changed. When we were alone that night, she came to my room, sat on my bed and asked if I was okay. I was confused at her question for a moment, but then she told me she knew about my then-recent breakup. It was the first thing she showed concern about after our long silent treatment.
We still DO argue and can’t stand each other. But the reason we’re still so close even after all the brouhaha is because we both make an effort to reconcile. We are well aware that no one is perfect (though it doesn’t stop us from wishing the other was less annoying), and that we have to live with the other’s habits, no matter how annoying, for the rest of our lives. And we are willing to compromise and live with it.
In the matter of my best friend, it is a silent agreement that the petty habits do not matter; what matters is that one is there when the other needs someone the most; with a shoulder to cry on and positive support. We prioritize each other equally; and we’re brutally honest towards each other. Everyone won’t take the same things the same way, and we’ve learned and understood each other’s patterns and reactions, so that we’re able to be honest with each other without offending the other.
We never bring the other down; and we’re patient with each other. We know each other’s strength and weaknesses, and we NEVER use it against one another.
I’m not claiming that we have THE best friendship in the world; what I’m saying is that with any friendship or relationship, it can only go on so as BOTH strive to MAKE it work.
Even through all the misunderstandings, arguments, all the shit either or both have to go through; If beef between two people are settled just like that – between two people, and not gossiped to others to make an even bigger issue out of it, if BOTH want and treasure the friendship/relationship enough, it will work.
Regardless of relation.
It won’t do to have only one person making the effort all the time, while the other just sits, sighs and moans about the state of the friendship/relationship, but isn’t willing to work on it together.
Nothing comes easily and quickly; it takes patience and will; will to fight through the shitty times and hard times and make it work.
That is, if both treasure that friendship/relationship enough.