Filter



You know you’re old when you spend a 4-person all female dinner over a home-cooked low-sodium meal, a bottle of wine and be convinced it’s one of the best nights you’ve ever had.

Last weekend was a glaring demonstration of that reality in my life. A friend moved to a new apartment. The lifting, driving and coordination commemorated into a long overdue Filipino meal.

Gone are days of unbelievably overpriced cocktail drinks in an overcrowded bar swarming with women in ridiculously fabric-deprived outfit and men in perpetual hunt for a lay. It’s all about intimately outrageous inside jokes born from shared miseries and astounding will to live younger than birth certificates dictate over meals that so incredibly feels like home.


Unfortunately, and perhaps inevitably, growing old comes with a bullshit filtering system. Somehow, time harnessed my ability to spot hypocrisy, uncreative drama and excessive selfishness. This leads to a shortlist of people whom I allow to be a part of my life.


Selfishness


Aside from our survival instincts, there’s nothing more natural, ordinary and predictable than people’s desire to be happy. The concept of happiness isn’t always rational or right but that’s beside the point. The point is that people want to be happy and the concept of happiness almost always involves possession. The object of possession isn’t always tangible but nonetheless real.


I’ve learned that people will try to get what they want and think they deserve but decent ones will respect others who do the same. It is just a matter of balancing selfishness with consideration. It’s just a matter of knowing how much to give others in order to get what you want.

I have few friends and most, if not all, are decidedly courageous people who have, one way or another, made a life for themselves. They chased the life they wanted, they took what they know should be theirs, and those things lead to where they are.

They, however, also know when to let others have their share. They give as much as they can. It is that common understanding, that mutual respect, that brings us together.

The dinner was nothing extraordinary. There’s not much you can do with a lot less sodium but the people that shared it, the stories that were exchanged made it memorable.


Sacrifices



Relationships, regardless of its nature, requires work. It requires time, time that comes at the expense of other important things in your life. It comes at the expense of several hours of sleep and rest. It comes at the expense of much needed getaways. It comes at the expense of opportunities to meet new people.



It’s inconvenient. That’s that truth. When you are past your 30s, every single minute of rest counts because your time gets divided among things and people you accumulate to build this unique world in which you live and more than three decades is a long time to accumulate.

There are people who make those sacrifices willingly, no matter how inconvenient, because they want to, because they know they need these people as much as these people need them.

No matter how much I value people, the ones that stick are the ones willing to give as much as they take because I don’t have an infinite supply of energy and patience. I get more more and more worn out each day.


Understanding and Acceptance



I will never like people all time, no matter how much I love them. I find some too impolite, some are too loud, some are too reckless, some are too dramatic.

Then again, they, most likely, have the same complaints about me. After all, we grew up with different values, different disciplines and different experiences. Time unravels people, it unravels the worst in people which allows you to decide which “worst” you can deal with. Which worst you can understand or which worst you can accept when you can understand.


Simplicity



Time… experience… this fan freakin' tastic thing called life strip me off the unnecessary. I am forced to keep only the most significant of relationships. What’s great about it is that age also developed my ability to see who are the ones worth keeping. I am also naturally emotionally lazy which makes it easier to just shut people out. I would rather spend my energy and time on a few that are worth keeping. I would rather spend my Saturdays eating home-cooked low sodium meals.

It’s all about joys instead of fun.

It’s all about relationships instead of parties.

It’s all about living a life not just a night.

Fairlane Raymundo

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