I recently paid my respects at a funeral of a colleague's loved one.
As the wreath of lilies was placed at the foot of the cross upon closing of prayer, it reminded me that time is precious and it is important to clearly express myself to those who matter.
My nearest and dearest friend on earth, I love you so much. We've been best friends for more than a decade - from scribbling on our desks and painting graffiti on walls (we were naughty kids weren't we?). We've gone through your dad's passing while we still were in high school, my sleeping over at yours whenever I was unhappy, your brother giving us lessons in accounting and economics, lining up timetables in college so we could spend our breaks together, me playing the piano for your sister's wedding, assembling Ikea furniture for your new home. We've been through a lot side by side and I'm looking forward to us growing old together.
It's incredible how we're so different but get each other so well. When we go to events together, you're always content to hide in the corner while I draw my energy from the life in the room. You comically roll your eyes exasperatedly and turn up your nose at my backpacking tirades and declare that you could never, EVER, understand how or why on earth anyone would want to fly economy rubbing asses with the masses, to live with locals, to trek through rolling hills and valleys of paddy terraces, hike an explosive volcano, dive with sharks, stay in a dorm and share a bathroom with a dozen other people. 'Exercise' is one of your major allergies and you can't bear to go outside without a full face of makeup and your heels. Yet it's those polar differences which keeps our friendship interesting and full of hysterical laughter.
I met you in my previous life as a writer - you were my Chief Editor. You gave it all up to go on to new challenges, I went my way to explore other career paths. I can't believe that today I call you my friend. You showed me that there is more to aspire to in life as woman beyond getting married and making babies. I treasure every moment with you.
My dear cubicle neighbour - you're loyal, trusting, affectionate, funny, good natured, sweet, kind, patient, and the best keeper of secrets. I can't say enough how much I value and treasure our friendship at work. Praise be onto the Cubicle Gods for seating us next to each other.
You started up a casual conversation while you were in transit through Kuala Lumpur International Airport more than a year ago. It's almost hilarious to think that somehow, we've kept in touch ever since and now talk to each other almost daily - what I shopped online, your door and sink which need fixing, the weather today, what we're having for dinner, etc. Hopefully one day we'll catch up - in person.
Some time has passed and it's been a while now, but I still treasure what you taught me. You taught me that when two people who care about each other want different things - there is no need for hate or bitterness in going separate ways. You showed me that it is possible for a relationship to end well and beautifully. We're on good terms with each other today and whether you find yourself in Berlin, London, Melbourne, Sydney, or anywhere in the world - I wish you all the happiness and success and abundance in life.
They say there are no bad experiences - only lessons. Thank you for cheating. Thank you for putting me in the position where I had to learn strength and dignity, to make the right decision, to cut you off. Thank you for teaching me to value and love myself, to never settle for being a side piece. I know I am worth more and deserve more than that, and I thank you for teaching me to acknowledge it.