Wednesday, January 28, 2009

For a woman called Sharon

There's a person I fondly called boss, aunty, Shaah-Ron, tan-sini or woman. This person is a dear friend to me, and the way we became good friends was actually quite strange, so strange that till now I still do not know what makes us click. Nonetheless, she is a rare person who has seen both the best and worst sides of me, someone whom in front of I can be totally me, and someone who too is totally her when in front of me. She is Sharon Tan.

Sharon Tan is born 2 years and 1 week earlier than me, she is from my rival school Nanyang Girls' High, and she moved on a JC which is later my JC as well, and then she entered uni which eventually became my uni too. What made me know her, is that she joins the AIESEC which I later joined too. In fact, she was the boss of AIESEC Singapore when I first started. Sharon is thin but somehow her waist is wider than mine. She is very very very fair. She was a gymnast too. She lives in Lakeside. She doesn't wear skirts. She is a Dean's List student and graduated with First Class Honours in Mechanical Engineering. And soon on 30th January 1pm, after 2.5 years of knowing her, she is leaving on a jet plan, on her AIESEC internship to Taiwan for a year.

It is amazing how she moved from someone I totally looked up to to my close friend. She couldn't remember me when we first met, as she was dancing AIESEC dance alone on the stage during my AIESEC Induction Camp. She was alone dancing when everyone else is either making friends with each other or looking at her weirdly. But she seemed to be enjoying herself so much, totally disregarding what's happening around her.

That was the first memory I had of her.

Thanks to my position a year later, which I had to liaise with the member committee constantly, I added her to my MSN. That was mid 2007. And then somehow conversation topics moved from work to personal. The first topic I remembered was about me spotlighting on her past love experience. I was so slow, that I couldn't guess who her ex was, until the last name on the list. I think I was very shocked then with the information I dug out, and I think she must be very amused by my reaction. I think I am probably one of the rare few who are 3 generations below her and yet dare to ask a president on such personal topic. And probably this is the time when impression of me is formed in her brain.

During National Planning, we found out that each other know how to crack back, and so we enjoyed each other's service from then on, and I became probably the MCP-certified masseuse, whom she happily exploited on all occasions, even when we were overseas in Japan.

Somehow we became closer friends, and she started staying over in my room every time she stays up late in NTU, even when I was homeless. And during one late night chat, she was even once misindentified by my hall security guard as a guy, and we were both warned of to not engage in indecent behaviors.

When Sharon shed off her MCP responsibility, her almost only job was to look for her internship. And that naturally gave her a lot of time. At that time, I just assumed the LCP role, and there were so many challenges and ambiguity in the job, plus positive surprise and negative emotions, and so she naturally became my confidant. When I was upset, I found it so easy to just pour everything out to her, as she understands all the terminology and the challenges involved, yet she is not in the working committee, so I did not need to worry if what I said will affect her perception or any decision at the workplace. She will always listen to me, and grant me a night to mellow and wallow. Sometimes if needed, she will accompany me out for lunch or dinner. It was great that she lives so near NTU. Dating her was always easy.

She was also the person whom I talk to for out of the world ideas, cuz she is very out of the world too. She calls this random struck of inspiration. And we never need to worry if we are looking weird or what. We understand the times when we are antisocial and would just want to be alone. A very precious part of this friendship is: when we are not interested in the topic each other post, we can say straight that we aren't interested and the other party will not take it offensively.  Our friendship is so free and easy and real.

A very funny part in our friendship is that, we are so different. She graduates on mechanical engineering and I am a Psychology student. On 24 strengths survey, her top strengths are my bottom strengths, and vice versa. We are poles apart, and perhaps that's why opposite attracts.

There was once I asked her what she likes most about me, that took her very long to answer. And she said it's probably that I am very 没大没小. Never knew this will be a strength of mine in making friends. But yeah.. she's considered a national treasure in AIESEC, and here comes a person 3 generations after who dares to ask her all sorts of questions and book her time, even to tie her hair weirdly in a Japan regional conference, I must be very 没大没小. It's funny to see how others don't dare to ask her questions that are too direct, especially on relationship matters. No wonder they can never get the juicy bits out.

And now, in less than 2 days' time, Sharon is going far far away for a long long time. Apart from wishing her all the best and being happy that she finally is going on her dream internship, I really hope that this friendship can be maintained regardless of the separating distance. Sharon is a mysterious woman and definitely very interesting to be with. From February onwards, I need to come to terms with the loss of one physical friend. I need to either find a new friend whom I can pour to, or learn to live with it on my own. It is probably going to be difficult, especially if she doesn't go online there!

But whatever it is, even if our friendship eventually fades, we have treasured this journey we walked through together, and milked the best out of each other.

This is it, about the story of my dear friend. Hopefully this is not a memoir.

Presenting to you, my dear friend Sharon after my professional hairdo for her. She probably looks too  harmless in this picture to let you believe she is this great legend in AIESEC and this wacky friend of mine.

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