Friends are life
As the years go by, we tend to save spots in our inner circle for people who made and still make impact to our lives. For me these spots are reserved for my family and the people who I grew up and spent most of my childhood years with. My friends.
I spent the remaining 8 days of 2018 in my home city, Athens. After most of us moved abroad, every time I go back home for the holidays is like a reunion with old friends. We get a few days together and then hit pause until next year, only to pick up were we left off. You see, what’s magical about this, is that once we’re reunited, we all leave our troubles behind and get to enjoy the time we have together acting like we’re in our 20s. We crack up old jokes and laugh at the same 20-year-old prank called “Menia”. I’ll introduce you to it at a later post, but I have to warn you, it’s contagious.
As the years go by, the time we have together shrinks. Mainly because… life. Life moves on as we’re all at different stages having different challenges, hobbies and even outer-circles. Our priorities changed and with the introduction of jobs, new interests, spouses and kids, the time we have together is short, but precious. So when we get it, we cherish it. But we don’t always see it as clearly as I describe.
For me, this last time was different. Nothing special happened. Quite the opposite. Some of us went for a boring old walk on a week day. And that’s when it struck me. We don’t have to do something special to have fun and reconnect. The connection takes place automatically no matter what we do. All it really matters is being with each other, sharing memories and seeing life through each others’ eyes. Laughing at old tales and making the same old jokes is our fuel for making new memories. And those will come with time, the same way all previous ones did.
Luckily, I had my camera with me to snap a few pictures, so I mainly played the role of the observer. What I noticed is that we haven’t grow up. We’re the same 20-something year olds doing the same stuff and talking about the same tales we used to. We just change levels in life like it’s some short of a video game. The more levels we explore, the more problems we have to overtake. But when we’re with friends, we take a step back and forget about those troubles.
We got married, divorced, had kids, became rich, poor, published authors, politicians and successful professionals. But those things don’t count for much when we all get together. Because when I see my friends, I see those same reckless boys and girls I’m proud to call friends.
The one thing I regret from that day is to not have all of them together at the same time like the old times. That would have been magical. But you know… life.
PS: This post is dedicated to all my close friends in Greece who I can’t see on a regular basis any more: Antonakos, Aravantinou, Asproukos, Baxevanis, Galiatsatou, Gerakis, Giannoudi, Gryllis, Grymplas, Kakoliris, Kanelopoulos, Mavridis, Selamis and Taravira. I'll see you all next time.