Who knows if this is too early, but I'm feeling better. I made a new friend this semester, J. He had plans to take off for Thailand before Christmas to go beach hopping. I bit him farewell and best wishes after our last final together and thought nothing more of it. Sure, he was traveling alone for the first time in his life, but I've done it many times, and really, we all survive. We grow. It's good for us.
Unless of course, we're beach-hopping during a Tsunami. When the news of the big waves came to me, I immediately felt guilt. He'd asked whether he should cancel his trip since his traveling companion had bailed on him. In response, I goaded him, chided him, and challenged his masculinity in order to encourage him to go it alone. How horrid would I feel if his decision, which may have rested a little, or possibly even quite a lot (given the fact that my pressures came during finals) on my words, resulted in his injury, or worse yet, his untimely demise. I've been trying to relax and tell myself that life goes on, it's out of my hands and I must wait 'til next semester when surely, he'll arrive on campus with amazing stories of being in Thailand during the aftermath of the big earthquake. But I couldn't help but wish there was a way of knowing that it was going to be okay. I couldn't help but feel guilty that this new friend of mine, whose parents I briefly met, may not be okay and may not be able to contact his parents, and even if he had, it would be uncouth for me, the recent acquaintance whom they don't know, to call and check in on him. I also couldn't help but realize that he was probably one of the best friends I'd made in law school thus far, possibly #2 behind H.
So, you can imagine my happiness when tonight at dinner, F's boy, D, who regularly works in Singapore and had the low down on the waves, told me that very few tourists go to beaches on the West side of Thailand (where the waves hit). For the most part, the tourist beaches are on the East coast. When I heard D's words, I released the air that I had unknowingly lodged in the bottom half of my lungs for at least 24 hours. Why have the news articles neglected to inform me of this? Regardless, I'm fairly certain that J wouldn't venture to 3rd world beaches, and as such, he is safe. Here's to hoping I didn't stoke his adventure-traveling-alone fires too much with my bravado.
Also, and more importantly, here's good thoughts to all in that region who need them.
Happy New Year All. Be thankful for what you've got.