I think most people who live/have lived overseas will agree that one major downside to living overseas is falling out of touch with loved ones left behind.
Sure, there is technology let people stay in touch – facebook, instagram, LINE, whatsapp, email, blog… I use them all. But there is something special and irreplaceable about face-to-face interaction.
Which is why every time I return to Singapore, I make it a point to pack my schedule tighter than a can of sardines. Any time not spent with someone dear is time wasted. My recent trip back, though unplanned, was no exception.
Fu asked me during one of our video calls, “Why are you making yourself so busy and tired? Rest more!”
My reply: “I didn’t come back to sleep.”
I think his expression after hearing my reply was something close to:
Back in Japan, while showing Fu photos I took in Singapore, he asked “Are you close to ____? I don’t remember hearing much about him/her when we were in Singapore.”
Then the question one of my friends asked when I met up with him surfaced instantly.
“Do you think we will be this close if we weren’t in different countries?”
I’ve been thinking about it since I first heard it, but I think it’s true.
For most of the people I met up with, when I was still living in Singapore, we went about our lives, busy with work and the various things that came up, gobbling up the little free time outside of work and never specially made time to meet.
There’s always the “Sure, let’s meet up soon!” mentality, except that “soon” never quite comes about soon enough. I think we take meeting up for granted, since there are no real barriers or restrictions to meeting, except, well, ourselves.
With no real resolve to put anything into action, a month goes by. Then two. Then half a year. Before we realize it, an entire year has passed just like that.
But now that I live a different country, the rules have changed. There is certain urgency as there is now a time limit as to how much we can procrastinate.
I am very thankful for the priority that everyone I met up with has given me, and on such short notice too.
I deeply enjoyed my time spent with every single person. For sharing your thoughts, worries, fears, dreams, even just hearing about your life, talking about inconsequential things like anime or makeup, cracking beyond-lame jokes, or heck, even talking about nothing at all; every moment is very precious to me, more than I can say.
The fact that we can talk, laugh and share heartfelt conversations is proof of a bond that not even time or distance can taint.
That means everything to me.
Till the next time we meet.