Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A confession from an emotional hoarder...

I'm an emotional hoarder--I'll admit to that. I've kept almost every single letter, card, postcard, and anything with sentimental value that you can think of for almost two decades. Not that I look at them often, but come the time of spring cleaning, I would most certainly find myself sitting on the floor and just read through the words handwritten by those who have come into my life one time or another.

Such sentimental items have, inevitably, decreased in number ever since the introduction of emails, e-cards, e-whatever. The only mail I get in the mailbox nowadays are bills, junk mail, and internet-shopped goodies. And even though I have 10 GB and counting of space in my email inbox, the majority of emails received fall into the following categories (in order of quantity): promotional material, work-related, prayer letters, and random emails from my husband. I can't remember the last time a friend had written just to say hi or to update on what's been happening in his/her life--heck, I can't remember when was the last time I had done the same!

The cyber world has made reaching another person so easy--too easy, in fact, unless you are determined not to let too much of your information seep through the packets of data being sent all around the world. With Facebook, I was able to get in contact with many long lost friends from primary school and high school years, which is so amazing! Yet at the same time, I feel more removed from them than I ever did... It was great to see where everyone is at, what everyone is doing after so many years, how their looks haven't changed, etc, etc, but to be utterly honest, after the first few Facebook messages along the lines of, "Oh my! Long time no see! It's so good to be in touch again! What's going on in your life? Here is what's going on in mine...", the communication kind of stops there. I can still like their photos, comment on their status updates, but who am I kidding if I think I can rekindle that old spark of friendship that we shared so many years ago? As a matter of fact, I actually really want to, but I also understand that we are all living our different lives in different places now, with our different friends, and unless we all share that same desire to rekindle old friendship, we can only remain as we are--Facebook friends with a history. A history that goes beyond the Facebook timeline.

But that's life, isn't it? We can't be everywhere all at once. We can't be friends with everybody at the same emotional level. We are so limited, and try as we may, we are unable to maintain the same depth of relationship with everyone except those few who stick by us even when the sky falls down. Yet at different points in time, all these friends have been a huge part of my life. I thank all of those who have left footprints in my heart over the years, who have helped me become the person I am today.

I remember fondly the days when we wrote letters on pretty letter papers to communicate. I miss the feeling of anticipation of receiving a reply, however long it took. I miss seeing handwriting that conveys emotions, instead of emoticons that I have trouble understanding sometimes. And I feel sorry to all the friends who have once been in my life but I failed to keep in touch with them as I should--when it was me who failed to call, or write, or email. I am sorry if I have disappointed you. And if you are still my friend despite all my failings, thank you for staying in touch. :-)

I saw a quote recently: "The past is a place that's very worthwhile visiting, but not worthwhile staying." I love reminiscing about the good old days, but I know I cannot forever stay in the past and wish things would still be the way they were. Yet I do hope that somewhere, someday, somehow, old friendships can be rekindled and we can reminisce together of what used to be, and look forward to what will become. Meanwhile, even just the odd email or Facebook message/comments will have to suffice. :-P

P.S. Wow, this has got to be the longest post on this blog to date. Thanks for reading if you got this far! ;-) Oh, and in case you were wondering, I used a photo of my cat because she, too, is an emotional hoarder--but the negative kind. She holds grudges.


  1. This is brilliant! What a great reflection on the way friendships are affected (or reflected) by social media, and how even though each person we meet shapes us, we can't hold onto (or hoard) all of them forever. It's just impossible, as you say. I think God brings us friends in each season of our lives for different reasons. I'm glad He has brought you and your beautiful self into my life :)

    1. Thank you so much! I thank God for bringing you into my life too! :-) Thank you for being a friend, a listening ear, and an encouraging blog reader hehe :-)

  2. Glad I'm one of the few friends that FB actually did rekindle our friendship! So glad to be part of your life in person and I get to really see what a wonderful person and family you have. Glad also you'll keep the etch of Tiffa I made you for at least 20 years!: p

    1. Thanks so much Kathryn! Although I think it was your emails (and possibly Tiffa!) that rekindled our friendship, not FB :P And yes, the etched picture is sitting on my display cupboard now hehe :)