In my writing
“Each time I look at it it’s a reminder that you never write to me. And that makes me feel sad.”
That was in 2009. We were apart for a year and shared a blog to keep in touch, until you forgot to write after the first month or so. Outside of textbooks and current affairs, reading didn’t interest you much. Back then I was upset and said you didn’t care about my thoughts and feelings. Your reply was, don’t you just tell me everything anyway? Even up to now, you only visit my blog every couple of years.
So initially in anger and later by habit, you’ve become strangely separate from, and omitted from, almost everything I write. In more recent years I laugh when I think of that argument because it so clearly exemplifies how different we were and still are.
When we met, you thought I was impressed with the number of push ups and pull ups you could do. But that was a big misunderstanding – I had no interest in muscles or such things and must have been watching out of sheer curiosity that someone could have fun working up a sweat. Back then you had just completed a 42km race after army, whereas I was out of breath running less than 1km around the park. I liked creative pursuits like art and music, and you were this odd Asian who couldn’t play a single instrument.
I wanted to have really loooong deep and meaningful talks and you would quickly lose concentration, or doze off altogether. Vet and medicine weren’t worlds apart as far as content goes, yet we were barely in the same space. Where I would share about some troubling aspect of hospital life or human suffering, you would respond by asking questions about some nerdy clinical detail or informing me of the pathophysiology of what was going on.
Needless to say it was endlessly frustrating and we fought all the time. I’d say we’re opposites and couldn’t work out and you’d say that opposites are complimentary. In the years to come we would become more similar as we cottoned onto each other’s interests and ways, but would both come to the conclusion that neither personality differences nor similarities are inherently advantageous in a relationship.
Over these years, I’ve also grown to appreciate our differences. I appreciate how you’re exuberant and excitable about life, whereas I’m often troubled and tired, pondering on the meaning of our existence. Where I could be more correct in almost every argument, you would almost always be kinder with your words. Where I might hold a long grudge, you have the gift of forgiving and forgetting. Where I am cautious to be emotionally invested, you’re somehow able to be single-minded and unreserved in declaring your love. Where I want to run away from something difficult, like marriage or children, you would say you like a challenge.
You’re like sunny Sydney and I’m like moody Melbourne. And you would say that the world needs a bit of each.
As far as humans go, you are the most constant person in my life and I often forget how much strength that gives me in my family life, ministry, work, friendships and all the areas people perceive me to be strong, capable and independent in. Thanks for walking with me and choosing to keep walking with me.