I was working on a pleading last weekend when I heard the guy being interviewed in a local talk show say, "When you haven't seen a loved one for a long time and then you see each other again, you have to rebuild your relationship and re-familiarize yourselves with each other as if you're strangers getting to know each other."
His statement certainly struck me. And it's because I'm going through the same stage with someone from my past.
When you finally meet someone you haven't seen for eons, you feel elated, of course. But it also feels strange. You know that it's the same person you've had in your life in the past but for some reason, he doesn't seem to be the person you've known him to be. You have memories of him but how you remember him doesn't seem to jive with how he is now before you. Time has definitely changed him. You remember him with a silly haircut. Now he's sporting a dyed K-Pop-inspired mane. You remember him talking in a certain , distinct way. Now he speaks differently. He's changed a lot and sometimes it makes you unsure if he's the same person that you knew a long time ago. That uncertainty is rendered more complicated by the fact that you know somewhere in your heart that he's the same person and that you want him to transform back to the way you remember him. Chubby. Sweet. Dorky. Mischievous. However you remember him. But then you realize that how he is right now is who he is. You can't change him back to how he was in your memories. You have to embrace the new him and start all over again. Rebuild your relationship. Re-familiarize yourselves with each other. And be content that somehow, you still find traces of the old him in the process.
I must admit that there are times I feel like I don't have the courage to accept the new him. I'm still too attached to the way he was, to how my memories of him portray him. But I always counter that illogical feeling by scolding and telling myself, "You should be happy that, after all these years, you got to see his face again."
Allah knows how happy I am. How much I've missed this person. And how much I love this person. I hope and pray that, in our lifetime, we will never ever be strangers again. Never again.