Since childhood, I have always been a lone ranger; I like doing things alone. My relunctance to mingle around was so bad that I hated groupworks and presentations.

As I embarked on my Secondary School life, I slowly opened up. I got more bold and braver when I entered ITE. Both my NITEC and Higher NITEC days were filled with new experiences and I felt like a new person albeit still a little timid and reserved.

I still retained my hearing in those days which I am thankful for. Once I graduated and continued my studies at the Polytechnic, my good hearing began to slowly reduce in my second year. I couldn’t focus so I quit.

My friends were accommodating but not everyone can adjust to my changes. I found myself drifting away because I can no longer sustain something that makes me feel like I am always the difficult one because I cannot hear and be involved in conversations. It took me a while to understand this from others’ point of view and be okay with it. They have been really nice people at heart and I know they have tried. They’ve been there from my teenage years up until I tied the knot. I am eternally grateful for those happy days because they built up my life.

All through my transition, a friend that became close after my Secondary School days stuck around. We have been friends since Primary School but fate had it that we turned into besties after leaving Secondary School. We went our separate ways but will always keep in touch and provide support for each other. I’ll talk more about her under my ‘Best Friend’ subheading. 🙂

As days go by, and as I went through big changes in my life, I found myself being close to my cousin’s group of friends whom I have known over the years. I got closer to one of them and when my cousin – who had lived with me since young – went to study overseas, this friend was the one who became my companion and we learned the Sign Language together. She is my cousin’s bestie. 🙂

When my cousin came back, I automatically became involved with their activities of occassional meet-ups and celebrations. Together with my close friend from Secondary School, they have been the ones who still maintain the connection with me and lend me their support all through my difficult moments.

Though sometimes I feel I could have done more as a friend, I realised that there are some things that I cannot force to happen and that chemistry in friendships is vital too. Even when I cannot be a good friend, I know they can be a good friend to me. And I appreciate all the friends that had and have come my way.