The one where friends are still friends

Do you remember that time in your life when your friends are your family?

I watched Friends The Reunion with the rest of the world, and just like the rest of the world, I cried, laughed, and smiled all throughout the almost two-hour show. For someone who “grew up” with the cast, who wouldn’t be that emotional? I have been so invested in the show that until now, my husband and I would regularly play episodes of Friends as a break from work, and we’d laugh on episodes and punchlines we’ve already seen more than once before. Still, the magic doesn’t fade because… it’s Friends, and there’s nothing like it.                                                                                

(If you haven’t noticed, my blog entries on Neat projects are entitled with, “The One with ________” a proof of how attached I am with Friends!)

I totally understand that season when our lives revolve around our friends, when we’d rather be with them than with our biological family. When we weigh in, we put more value to what our friends say than what our parents ever will. Our friends are the first ones to hear our brilliant ideas and most of the time, the only ones to hear our deepest, darkest secrets. 

That same season is the time we don’t get tired of seeing each other’s faces. It’s not like we talk about new things all the time. We replay a lot of things in our conversations and the same story is still funny the 10th time we hear it. 

Now that we’ve moved on from that season, there are also a lot of stories we’re bound to forget. We just can’t remember everything, most especially because our priorities have changed. But not knowing when or where something happened before doesn’t make us less of a friend.  

It’s always nice to look back on good times, but people change along with a lot of circumstances we don’t know about. We can’t be that girl or boy in our teenage years forever. In our own circles, there will always be the one: the one who made it far in life, the one who’s lost direction, the one who pursued the ultimate dream, and so on. 

One of the best things I learned from Friends The Reunion is acceptance. We must acknowledge, embrace, and accept our life’s new season to be fully present in it. In other words, we must move on from the past season. Whether we admit it or not, some people expect us to be in the same season we were in years before, and it just makes them upset or disappointed in a way that’s unnecessary. Forcing our past into our current season is unfair not only for us, but for the people who are currently involved in our life. 

Just like Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Chandler, Joey, and Ross, I have learned to park being a friend to my friends as a season because being a mother, wife, homemaker, and entrepreneur are now top priority. These roles that I have now take the driver’s seat in my life, and these hugely define the decisions I make everyday. 

I do miss my friends from time to time, but we are in this season in our lives when we don’t need to talk everyday or have dinner everyday to be able to say we are friends. We have our own families and priorities, and that’s not saying I wouldn’t go the extra mile for them when they need me. It’s just that now, that decision must be factored in with other things, such as my kids’ schedule and needs.

Friends The Reunion reminded me that seasons do change, and acceptance is necessary along with the changes. 

So while we are here in the now, we must pay full attention to it. 

Have a great day ahead, Neatropolis!