—to friends that are perhaps no longer.
Maybe it’s something in the configuration of the sky and celestial objects floating in it, or simply hormones – nonetheless, lately I’ve been drawn a lot towards the feelings that come from every interaction, or the lack thereof, between myself and human beings surrounding me.
I’ve particularly been lost in thoughts during several occasions where I was made to reminisce about the connections I made in the past. Friends, mostly. People who used to rub off on me the way I rubbed off on them, mainly because we shared so many mornings, afternoons, evenings, and maybe even nights together. And the things we said or did not say. Unspoken dialogues that could’ve perhaps glued together the cracked walls, one-way monologues that might’ve been a much-needed icebreaker, or overflowing questions to imply that I still care – if they’d let me.
To you, friend, whom I once knew, who used to be;
I had this conversation with my boyfriend of eight-and-a-half years the other night.
It was triggered by a random question that a friend got when we played a little game of Q&A by flipping through random pages from What Makes You Tick? The Question Book the night before, when she was having a sleepover at my place. The question was, “Would you want your partner to confess to you if he/she had an affair? Have you come to an agreement about being unfaithful?”
She and I had disagreeing opinions at first, although I guess by the end of it she was swayed by my perspective and decided to also go with my answer. (If you’re curious to know what it was, you’ll have to wait until the nearing end of this post.)
I was then intrigued to ask that to my significant other because only then I realized that in our more than eight years of being together, he and I never really talked about these things. Which perhaps could be a good thing I suppose, considering that the sole reason was that there was never any occasion, i.e., any trigger, which compelled us to have to have a discussion about it.
Nonetheless, as our relationship ages, at some point it becomes important to know where each of us stands on those difficult questions. Because as solid as we hope our longstanding relationship to be, one would never really know what could unfortunately happen in the blink of an eye. And it does no harm to be well-prepared by figuring out each other’s preferences in handling such problems, so that you don’t end up hurting someone thinking that you’re saving them instead.
There’s an alternate reality where I don’t have crippling regrets in my approaching thirty. And it doesn’t involve a story about girlboss’ ambitions, nor daydreams about living in Scandinavia, nor making overdue amends with people who share your blood—not that kind. The premise is about living your early 20s carelessly, pouring your hearts out and accepting love where it might’ve been promised. To let one guard’s down where it felt safe to do so, and to quit building fences out of insecurity and fear of not being able to be vulnerable enough to let anybody in.
I feel bad and ashamed for even inviting those thoughts into my headspace. How did I allow myself to be so beaten over silly summer flings that could’ve been? To even dare to ask myself, have I traded my best years with the comfort of a safety net, that in the end doesn’t even feel so sturdy anymore?
I don’t know if I would’ve been happier or just as desperate. I would perhaps circle back to the same old situation anyway, wondering if I had done enough to allow myself to be happy.
Will I ever find out whether it is stagnation or unpredictability that would bring me more happiness and/or cherishable memories at the end?
I am in a state of paralysis, I guess, and I need any possible kind of force to move me.
Does it really take the whole world to crumble for two creatures to coincidentally find a home in each other’s presence, two siblings to make long-overdue amends, and a mediocre character to take their first step towards digging what should never have never been buried for nearly two decades?
My significant other of six and a half years (feels strange to type this, I barely realized this is how long we’ve been together) had his twenty-something birthday yesterday!
The spotlight of this post should probably be on him, but I’m afraid this won’t be the case. If you read this with the intention of hearing a story about A, be prepared to get disappointed. Mainly because in this post, I would talk mostly about some of the past birthday gifts that I’ve crafted for him throughout the years – thus this post is more about my crafting journey than A himself, lol.
Although in the past few years we’ve been getting each other more practical, functional, and long-lasting gifts – mainly because we’re way past the adolescent era where we still had the utmost need for attention, treatment, and so forth, and now we realize we could really use some useful “adult” tools to help each of us get through life – today I’m feeling nostalgic and just feeling like reminiscing the good old days where I would try so hard to shower him with those self-made pretty-pretties excessively.
Those who have known me since at least my undergraduate years may know that I’m a huge fan of DIY, designs, or basically anything that screams arts and crafts. So basically, I’ve been using A‘s birthdays as an excuse to nurture my passion about creating artsy-craftsy handmade knick-knacks – apart from the fact that he deserves the token of appreciation as well, of course. From the classic birthday card, birthday book, birthday lunch decor, and a couple of other things, his birthday has basically been a special occasion for me to experiment with papers and scissors.
Disclaimer: I know I’m not in any way qualified to really have a trusted opinion about this, since I never even had any first-hand experience on this topic. The last time I made myself available in the dating arena was in 2013 and I had (luckily) settled with one person ever since. Nonetheless, if you still want to read my thoughts despite my absolute lack of experience, here goes!
When referring to modern dating, some of us may associate it with online dating, hence involves dating apps such as Tinder, Bumble, and so forth; or some dating websites, e.g. Setipe.com (is this even still a thing? I don’t even know). But what I’m about to talk about is closely related as well to other means such as ta’aruf, perhaps. Hence the bracketed modern in the title, because as far as I know, ta’aruf– or whichever term they called it in another sides of the globe – has been around since the first Muslim civilization, as the only way that is actually encouraged within Islam.
Essentially, I’m referring to a way of finding a potential partner through something other than through mutual circles, where you and the other party may not have any acquantaince and/or circle in common. In short, where you both started as regular, complete strangers. And particularly in nowadays world where almost everyone we personally know seems to have made certain trails on the internet.
As one of those people who regularly creates some digital footprints all over the web ever since I was introduced to internet, i.e. through this blog (and some of my older blogs), Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, Tumblr, Medium, Facebook, and so forth – I mean, look at all the social media links I listed on the top right corner of this website, and that’s just a tiny percentage of myself that are out there like an open book for anybody to study – I feel like it might be very daunting if I were to be someone who’s currently on the hunt for a significant other and then I came across and became interested in someone whose online presence resembling mine, with digital imprints from at least the past decade literally being spread across everywhere on the internet.