Saturday, November 17, 2007

Can you shut your heart?

My best friend in Nantes is leaving soon to the US. I was not very keen for the "say good bye" moment but we did it tonight. I'm sad to say that these days my feelings have been very numb. I don't feel anymore. People leave and come and I have to constantly dealing with it. I have learn to shut my heart.

When I arrived in France I wanted a fresh start. I tried to make friends in the French class. Very quickly I was pampered with the fact that it is very hard to get a good friend. You have to constantly invest in it. Here in France, either you go to restaurant, go to night club, or you have a party at home. Going to restaurant is expensive and not everyone can afford it. I tried to go to night club but I'm at a point that too much is too much. I tried to change myself to adapt to the western life, but I just can't. I felt bored in a night club while people just keep getting drunk and doing stupid things. I don't like cooking much, so having party at home is extremely painful, all the clean up, arrangement, people stay overnight, it's just too much work.

On the other hand, I have very very friendly classmates in my master class. They know I don't speak good French so they try to help me at their best. A classmate is simply my tutor, available to me whenever I have problem with the French language. Yet, I have shut my heart. With the internship, these people are just going to go away in a few months.

I used to be a very cheerful people, laughing at all times with so many friends around. Now I'm still laughing, but to myself. Friendship is too fragile, it is broken when it is separated by distance.


  1. Anonymous2:51 PM

    I'm sad that she left before I have a chance to meet up with her again. But I understand that she was very busy packing and doing all the arrangements etc. At least you did get to say 'goodbye' but she will be back in a few years time. You can still stay in touch with her via email or messenger. Do you know that you can make free calls to USA on FREE ;)

    I'm so used to having good friends in Singapore that when I first came to Nantes to live, I was so depressed. I have no friends, nobody to talk to. I made friends but they all went away after a semester or two. I tried to make French friends but they are hard to get to know. Finally I made some really nice French and foreign friends at the university while studying for my degree. Sadly we part ways again after our degree. Although some stayed in Nantes to pursue their Master and we still keep in touch, it's not the same like before as they are so busy with their multi projects and classes to attend. Soon I will be leaving Nantes for another French city and I will have to start from zero again. I sort of got used to it by now. It's rather sad I know. I wish I have a circle of friends to meet up often like I have in Singapore. The hardest is finding someone that you can click with. You are lucky to have your best friend for 3 years. I wish I have a best friend when I first arrived in Nantes.

  2. Anonymous4:21 PM

    people come n go in our life...we cannot avoid tat. it's part of life.

    i felt nothing when i left my primary n secondary school. but i was very sad when i finished my degree...the close friends, all went to separate ways.

    i've worked in 4 companies b4...but first 2 companies, i didnt feel anything. but 3rd company...i cried. yea. i'm a guy, and i cried (silently...alone of coz). because i was very sad to leave the team leader n team seniors who were so nice to me that time. and i know it'll b very hard for us to meet again.

    recently, my team manager left. we've worked together for 1 year. i got to know his family...his wife, his daughter n baby boy. planned n bought presents for him n his baby boy....went out movie together as a team...talked Manchester Utd stuff together....played PSP together....and had heart-to-heart talk as mentor n disciple. he taught me a lot of things but he left. i was very sad n i cried also...he told me the day b4 i left for UK.

    but in the end....we mst face the fact that people come n go in our life. i'm quite emotional for a guy and some people might look down at me but i don really care. :) tat's me. we might not be able to meet these people again ...but i believe if we have fate..we will meet...and if we have the will...we will meet. :)

  3. cooking ninja,

    She was the only friend I can relate to in the pass two years due to the common language and culture. I can be friended with others but when you don't speak the same language and share the same culture, people have hard time understand me. I can invite and be invited for a meal in my friend's house, but I don't talk to them over the phone for the whole afternoon like what I had with this great friend.

    This is what I'm talking about. I don't want to be sad anymore, so I shut my heart. When people go, I don't want to feel sad anymore. If I don't invest in the friendship, whatever they do won't hurt me too much. I have known some guys who are emotional and sentimental, you are surely not the only one. :-)

  4. Hi Bee Ean ... I am sorry that you are parting with your best friend but am surprise that you have decided to shut your heart to others after experiencing such a special friendship. What Alvin said is very true. People come and go in our life. It cannot be avoided. Some stay for a while, others a bit longer. I believe that we should make the most of our time with them. Yes, bidding farewell hurts and sad feelings suck but in the IT world of today, goodbyes are not permanent breaks unless we make it so. Even if they happened not by our choice, a heart that has loved and lost is always stronger than one that has never loved. I speak from experience several times over. Just sharing.

  5. Anonymous12:09 PM

    Hi Bee

    I know what you mean. You are lucky to have her for 2 years. I have lots of friends - French and foreigners throughout the 6 years I have been living here but none that I can relate to like I could with my good friends in Singapore like you and your best friend.

  6. night club is not that bad... it's where i met jules.

  7. Anonymous5:20 PM

    I just noticed this post. I feel the same way often, but for me, it has been this way since I was in the Army. I ALWAYS had to say goodbye to someone...and after that, I attended school at a highly international all of my peers were literally from other countries and I was constantly saying goodbye whenever they'd return home.

    And THEN, saying goodbye to my friends in NYC. And then coming to France and having to say goodbye to expat friends. It has been really difficult.

    I don't know if club life is the western way...there are plenty of clubs outside of the western world. And I dare to say most people in the western world don't see clubs as enjoyable It's a specific demographic/attitude that I think clubs appeal to.

    When I was young and living in Germany (the first time, not the second time), I went to clubs every weekend because it was hard for me to be away from my friends and family and going to a club was the only source of "fun" for me in such a conservative place. But, when I returned to NYC, I never went to clubs. It just wasn't what we did. Mostly tourists did that...people that didn't really know how to act in a big city like NYC.

    Or younger people.

    I understand what you mean about closing your heart. For me, it's really, really difficult to do that because I'm such a sensitive person. But, sometimes, I wish that I could. Because it hurts to have to say goodbye all of the time, everytime.

  8. rita,
    This is just how I protect myself. You know just like when you are too painful, you fainted as your body system tries to protect you. In my opinion, interpersonal relationship is very fragile, it can not transcend the geographical boundary sometime. The exception is with the family members. Distance won't diminish a love of my mother to me for instance.

    Everyone has different personality and I would just say that nightclub is not for me. Already the loud music, smoke and alcohol push me away. I once went to a night club in KL and I would say that 50% of the men there are out looking for one night stand and 50% of women are there to seduce men. Which is not wrong but not my cup of tea.

    Cool you understand what I mean by shutting my heart. I used to open up my heart for everyone, but I slowly close up. At the end it's not worth the effort, I feel that the relationship has changed. People now try to look for temporarily friend, someone to have fun with at one time and one place, not for forever friendship. It's not that we intended to, it's just that when people are away and not in your circle anymore, the friendship fades away.