“What are you grateful for today?”

Last Friday night:

Days and moments – like tonight – when I think I am a difficult and undeserving-of-love kind of person:

I am always grateful for Dad i.e. the one person who stayed up while everyone else is asleep and said no to a movie tonight with my siblings (and one I know just how much he would enjoy) because “Jane is coming home tonight.” It is like those sentences that often appear in poems about being greeted by a soft, dim light upon returning home.

I am undeserving of this degree of love and kindness, yet for this light upon light that never seems to dim even in my 26th year… I’m grateful.

(Tonight someone said, “Single folks like us with no family of our own have less priority to make frequent trips back” – I beg to differ; different priorities yet not any less important or significant and no, your priorities aren’t mine too.)

Last Saturday night, reflecting on the night spent attending a close friend’s wedding :

So many stories to share from tonight – like the fact that yet another person, an older-friend-near-stranger, asked, “Aren’t you a lecturer? Why aren’t you a lecturer?” To which I laughed and said, “Do I have the face or something?” “Aren’t your parents professors?” (Ha!) – but it’s a conversation with my close friend T (who is still based in the States) at the buffet table that really moved me.

“But I don’t regret coming home,” I said to her as we made our way down the food line, “Though I admit I have this fear. Sometimes I feel like the life I have now in Miri is so small… compared to the life I had, y’know?”

“But you don’t ever have to fear settling. You’re not going to,” she replied confidently. “I know you. Even if you don’t – I do. You’re the kind of person who is determined about what you want. You’re not going to allow yourself to settle.”

These days my circle continues to shrink ever smaller – older, old, new… the lines blur as adulthood and various life chapters build traction. All of us struggle in our own ways, while collecting joy and happenstance as we soldier on, and are always metamorphosing. Yet despite the fluidity of life, there are some friends who seem to linger; stay. It is a terribly weighty word, always has been, but also beautiful.

These friends may not be fully present but are seemingly always within periphery. Years go by and spatial distances widen yet their ability to see right through us(me) is searing.

Tonight I was also asked this: “What are you grateful for today?” I had to pause for thought (the horror) and gave a cliched answer; now I think I’d like to add to that. I’m grateful for T for being a mainstay friend in my life despite our turbulent growth and coming-of-age years, experienced individually and at some points, together.

This particular llama is truly special ♥

More stories coming your way… stay tuned.

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