I’m sitting at a coffeeshop right now, just an hour or so after enjoying a hearty meal and good company at a friend’s house. It was a reunion of sorts, with a bunch of us high school buddies coming together to kick it once again like we did back in the lunch time recesses of yesteryear. The only difference is that this time there were wives and a baby, and no one was stressing about failing class anymore. Now it’s just bills, health, kids, and careers.
The afternoon started off cordial and proper–a little too proper. Perhaps we needed some time to reacquaint ourselves, connect the “who we are now” with “who we once were.” But dignity would take a back seat to habit, and soon our true colors came to light. Everyone took turns around the table roasting one another with their stories of shame and humiliation. Stories that were once thought dead or forgotten were exhumed and laid out on the table for all to savor. In those weightless minutes we discovered and rediscovered ourselves and the past we thought we had left behind. I was literally in tears–I don’t remember the last time I was laughing in such fits.
For a few hours, we were able to lose ourselves in a world that has already been defined and forget about the question marks of tomorrow. That’s the funny thing about history. Whether good or bad, you cannot change it. But you are not bound by it either; you are free to simply cherish it or milk it for the mistakes and wisdom that can serve as building blocks for tomorrow.
Through all the food and dialogue, I was reminded that this is what life is about: spending moments and recounting memories with loved ones. No matter where you go or what you do in life, always take some time to appreciate your journey and celebrate the days you’ve been given.