Lost and Found
It’s funny how sometimes you just lose things, hope, or people. Funny how some small stuff in your room gets mysteriously disappeared. How some people whom you once thought would never leave become the one who has the courage to walk away. Someone who should have never left at the first place. Maybe a close neighbor, your own parents, best friend whose number is your emergency call, or a partner you have spent years with.
But at the end of the day, it’s also funny how sometimes you can find things. When you accidentally find a missing stuff after hours of hopeless searching. When you finally find something you have been looking for, maybe the perfect dress or the right job. When you meet someone and he turns out to be a good friend you can always count on. The friend who is all ears to your endless stories. Or when you have someone to spend tiny little moments with. The one who is up all night having a pillow talk right beside you. Someone to cuddle with on rainy and cold days in the time of sweater weather. Sometimes, somewhere, you just find things.
In both losing and finding something, there is one thing in common: we try our best to be a keeper for one and only objective and that is to keep what we already have. But most of the time, if not always, this is something beyond our power. We need to understand that how long someone stays in our lives will never be our decision to make.
So we start to appreciate and value their presence while they are here. Try to enjoy things and capture moments while they last. After dealing from the pain and grief, we can finally get to the most important part: having lost someone makes us re-evaluate what we hold dear, quoting Claire Underwood. We begin to think back and rewind every little moment we’ve spent with fear we might lose them along the way. We play those memorable songs that remind us of a certain period in our lives. We pass by an old yet familiar place only to realize that the place may still remain the same while the people have changed. We reconnect to others in hope to keep them around. And those who still stay, we start holding them even more dearly, showering them with all the love we have.
With this whole lost-and-found concept, maybe it also has something to do with growing up and being an adult. It is a common phenomenon to be distant to an ex-classmate when we find new friends in a new circle. Simply no longer hanging out because we go to different universities with new friends and suddenly we have a whole new priority. Those friends who go abroad to continue their study and we slowly lose touch. Ex-colleagues who we used to have a fancy luncheon with every weekend now belong to a new clique as they move to another company. My mom once told me her story about people being come and go. How her close friends she once climbed a mountain together with now have no idea about how she is doing. As we age, as we grow old, we meet new friends, get married and have kids. Our priority automatically shifts. Suddenly you are 35 and you just want to spend the night at home rather than having a Friday jam with your girls. Suddenly life is all about your family and your loyal friends stay on the sidelines to support you when you need them; they’re just not the number one priority anymore. Mom says life happens that way and one thing we can do about it is probably by not being too attached to something. Or someone, perhaps. But how do you do it? How do you have complete control over your feelings? How can your heart measure it? Is there even a legit measurement on how we are supposed to feel at something? Is it with a scale of 1 to I-love-you-to-the-moon-and back or a percentage as if love was some a math that you can calculate?
Ted Mosby once said, “the friends, neighbors, drinking buddies and partners in crime you loved so much when you’re young — as the years go by, you just lose touch. You will be shocked, kids, when you discover how easy it is in life to part ways with people forever. That’s why when you find someone you want to keep around, you do something about it.”
There is an alternative way, though. Instead of guarding your heart, you can try to be a good keeper and possess a heart in the size of an ocean. When you are blessed to have someone, or something, you take a really good care of it. You stop taking people for granted. You treat people not only with kindness but also with sincerity. You give even when you know you may get nothing back in return. And when you lose, you let go. You accept the harsh truth that some people need to leave for the better. Like a river that flows, some people need to keep on moving.
On the other hand, whether we like it or not, sometimes we are the one who leave. Maybe we leave someone for an affair. Maybe we leave because love is not there anymore. Maybe we get bored and love after all does have an expiration date. Maybe we resign because the job is not challenging anymore and everything feels mundane. Maybe we need to leave because the other person does not appreciate our presence and does not treat us well. So what is it to do when we are about to leave someone? There are no rules, but when you want to leave, at least have the modesty to explain your reasons. This is probably the most gentle way of leaving, as though Leaving 101 existed. Being apart with someone itself is already heartbreaking enough, you don’t want to make it worse by disappearing like a ghost, especially to someone who matters to you. It happens like when a colleague decides to resign; there will be a simple farewell with nice food and drinks, have some throwback moments about those good ol’ days, have a short goodbye speech with some motivating words, let go with a big warm hug and whisper “I hope the best for you”. At the end of the day, the only realistic thing we can do is simply thank every good moments once shared and continue moving on.
And maybe life happens this way. Maybe what happens to us is the cyclical notions of time.
That everything, eventually, repeats itself. It projects a constant yet balance cycle of losing and finding, of something that begins to end and ends to begin. That only by losing someone can we find a replacement. That when a child is born, another one on the other side of the Earth dies. That when a door closes, someone is ready to knock on another door. Perhaps with a flower and promising future. Maybe this is a never ending phase, an endless moment of losing and finding someone. Of leaving someone only to have a new person comes along. Of being left only to be found again. Since there is no manual that we can learn, might as well enjoy the whole process.
“Hearts break and hearts wait to make us grow fonder, then our eyes cry and souls sigh, so that we know that it hurts.” — Adele, Now and Then
So here’s to losing someone. Here’s to letting go.
And here’s to being found, again.