One is Isay, the other is Carlo. One is a friend I’ve know for more than a decade, the other I’ve known for a quarter of a year.
Unlike family or workmates who get to see each other because the environment permits or requires it, constants are not a connection out of accident or necessity. Constants seek each other, misses the other, and gives the extra effort to connect because of the genuine desire to do so. If you’re lucky, such as I am, your constants enrich your life.
I woke up today with this realization, hence I sit here writing about them. Isay is a friend I met in college. Carlo is a friend I met online. Regardless, these two are the biggest influences in my life right now. It’s their stories, it’s how they live their lives. Even if the majority of their days do not involve me, they involve me, they allow me to be a witness, they influence me, they tell me stories, they share their joys and pains with me without filter.
My constants never compete for my time and affection and neither do I demand these from them. My constants have their own set of close friends, they have their family whom they love, they have the job and roles they are required fulfill. Every now and then, they fall in love with a person or their work which will require their full involvement. Our space or sphere of connections constantly grow to include others but this never brought jealousy, only happiness when I see that they found more avenues to expand. I am still fascinated how our “non-exclusivity” brings all of us more joy. From these two have I learned the expansiveness and inclusiveness of love.
Many of my struggles still remain within myself. Inner struggle is a sign of cognitive dissonance: when I am not able to fully live by the values and beliefs I hold dearly. But now, to my left and right are my constants, whose examples inspire me to get out of my cyclical behavior and pursue that which will fulfill me. And it isn’t even this grand accomplishment or seeking riches or acclaim. These two showed me how to taste life and live it to the fullest. Each swimming in their own struggles, consciously striving to improve themself, become selfless, and become a contributor to a cause that is beyond the confines of self. Only when we are full and in alignment can we move away from self-interest and contribute to something beyond us. That which I constantly struggle to do.
To my constants, ampunin nyo ako, huwag nyo akong hayaan manatiling naliligaw. The consequence of our friendship has always been to love and love deeper.
To my readers, may you find your constant!
And that’s how it should be. Finding a place for yourself, then stretching your arms out to the rest of the world.– Refugees, lang leav