Remember the time when your peers or family got mad at you because the pursuit of your career or new job seemed to overshadow the time you’d once had to spend with them? The value of our friendships come into question around how we may have changed because of the chase of a new “life”.

I could never understand why a friend was mad at me after her visit in California one summer. Many moons later, I came to realize that I had become too serious, too caught up with being what the “world” had wanted me to be in achieving the career excellence at my newborn startup.

It took me many years to understand why. It didn’t hit home to me how serious I had become, losing my childlike light-heartedness, with my world almost revolving solely around my startup, as it had become my priority above my friendships outside of work. As I prepared for her wedding recently with some of our peers we had grown up with, it reminded me of the purity of heart we had as children. And I realized that we are are invited to have today too, if we chose so.

Karl Marx once said, “There comes a time in your life when you have to let go of all the pointless drama and the people who create it and surround yourself with people who make you laugh so hard that you forget the bad and focus solely on the good. After all life is too short to be anything but happy.”

 I recall another time when I got caught in between two friends who had a dispute around the authenticity of a branded item that one of them purchased from Italy on behalf of the other. The authenticity of the belt from the store was questioned because my friend, the buyer did not have the store’s original receipts, although verifications from the credit card statements proved to be true. It was really painful to watch the friendship of many many years go down just like that, where no resolution could be found, leaving each of us with the void of separation at the loss of a friendship.

You may argue that it’s silly for such a thing to happen but before we become judgmental of this situation, let’s recount our own lives. This context could vary in our lives each day, over the biggest or smallest things with the people closest to us. I’ve learnt that perhaps letting go of needing to be right quickly, choosing instead to make peace out of love for each other before an argument gets too heated up could preserve all the years of friendship.

A dear friend once shared, money had bought her wealthy grandma moments of conversations in the silence of her loneliness each time she went to the local designer’s store. Only to find that all the beautiful, expensive dresses she bought after each visit had been left displayed and hanging on her clothes rack – untouched, never worn. While we know that money is a tool that buys us things, the relationships that we have built over the years cannot be mended with money or gifts. It takes nurturing, giving, letting go of ego for the sake of the other and a heart of it all to be ready to laugh at our very selves and each other – and perhaps that little bit of laughter will suffice.

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