See this pendulum
Swinging between two far poles
Knowing each other—
Someone called me and asked if we could have a dinner. We hadn’t met for many years. Knowing this person was in Singapore, I excitedly agreed to meet. Meeting this person, I was given a shock. This person looked weary and older than one’s age. The excellent appearance and posture was totally gone. That time I felt so blessed for for being me.
Me: I am not a marriage advisor, dear. Not even ever married yet! (That’s after a very long ranting from the friend stopped).
SO: But I know you are the most suitable one I can talk to.
Me: Oh…. (damn wrong, whispered to myself)
SO: …. A broken marriage… !@#$%^&*()_+=-::’<>,./?~~~~~~~~~~ What should I do?
Me: Oh…. (proven wrong talking to me, whispered to myself)
SO: …. Divorce is painful…. !@#$%^&*()_+=-::’<>,./?~~~~~~~~~~ What should I do?
Me: Oh…. Ummm (starting to show sympathy) I understand how you feel in this situation. Must be painful. Your own stress, the other one’s stress, your children, other people’s impression and words about you, your work….. Everything seems not at your side. I can understand you feel unwanted, useless, bad, irresponsible. Yet decision was made. You just should face it. How? Not sure if my word is reasonable and responsible but I think you just need to keep being you: working as before, doing activities that are still accessible, talking to your children like before, talking to your ex about the children….
SO: You don’t know! It is not that easy!
Me: Oh…. I am so sorry. I might not fully understand it is not that easy. I am so sorry for my ignorance. (told ya I am not the right person, whispered to myself)
SO: How would you survive alone all this time? You seem so happy with your life. Sometimes I regret for getting married too young. Look at you and X and Y and Z. All the singles are happy.
Me: (Oh! A sudden death! I know this would come but too soon, too soon. Let me find the right words. Whispered again to myself ) Ummm…. I think it is not that easy too…. Ummm…. I am happy, yes. Not always, but most of the time I am. Yet I also probably started hard.
SO: You don’t seem ever in hard time.
Me: That’s what you see. !@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@&%%%%%%%%%%%%%.
SO: So do you think I can survive?
Me: Of course. Although our problem is not the same, I am sure you can. Don’t underestimate your ability to cope with the hardship of life. You are stronger than you think. You just don’t know it yet.
SO: You really don’t want to get married?
Me: (This question I never like, never like, never like; whispered to myself, but need to find the best words that won’t cause any further question.) This is out of context; you should not ask me this question. Not that I don’t want. It’s just about time.
SO: Do you fall in love?
Me: Ok, now you are asking me question about me.
SO: I feel good when knowing I am not alone.
Me: (Make sense, but why me oh my God!) Ok. Ok. I can make you feel better. Yes I fall in love and break my heart. And I don’t want to break my heart again.
SO: So you don’t want to fall in love again?
Me: Of course not like that. I fall in love again and again.
SO: With whom?
Me: With my eyes. With my lips. With my hair. With my morning. With my job. With my…. (I saw the person got annoyed but I continued with more things) Hahaha….
SO: Is it that easy?
Me: Nothing is easy automatically. It takes practice and time.
SO: What if I don’t get married again in the future?
Me: That’s too far away. Think about what you can do today.
SO: Do you think I still have a chance to get married?
Me: Of course if you want! Just find the right person.
SO: How can I find it? How?
Me: (Oh my God, help me before I can help others. Whispered to myself while finding the best words for this troubled person; even an intelligent person can be as dumb as this in one’s bad time) Hey, hey! If I know how to get the right person, I would have been married much earlier. This question is irrelevant.
SO: Hahaha……! Sorry, sorry! Hahaha……..!
Me: (Ok, at least I made you happy, whispered to myself. Mostly smiling among listening to the ranting, I enjoyed a perfect night — no rain, enough breeze…. Hours can feel like minutes…. On and on and on and on until midnight. Whispered to myself.) Cinderella has to go home, my friend. Or else, she will be back to be Cendrillon.
SO: I feel so much better. It feels like I find myself again. Maybe I was too preoccupied with not important things that I thought I lost the person I had known so long, myself.
Me: I might be like that in the same situation, maybe worse.
SO: Thank you very much.
Me: (I didn’t do anything. Just sat down and listened and responded to you. Whispered to myself for how many times heaven knows) The least I can do. It is good to meet long lost friend. Welcome back.
Dear friend, I know you’ll read this with a smile. Get better. See you some day. When meeting me again, make sure you look nicer.
Lesson learnt: Be patient with those facing fresh-from-the-oven problem. Don’t judge. Be a good listener. Don’t try to be a perfect advisor because you are not. Be yourself. Don’t get offended, someone in trouble may unintentionally disturb you.