There are few things more impactful and meaningful than old friends. There are few, if any, experiences in life that eclipse what you can do with old friends.
An “old friend” is not defined by age of the relationship. I define it as the age and quality of the experiences that you have had together. New friends can quickly come into this category, perhaps I can better call it “close friends.” Eh, to steal a Dom Toretto Quote (if you know me, you’d know I’m a big fan):
“I don’t got friends. I got family.”
That is honestly how I feel. My closest friends are just like my family.
It is tough to realize just how rare and precious “old friends” are. I was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by a group of like minded (which can actually be a bad thing, sometimes) yet distinctly different individuals. From the age of 4 or so, I had a group of “old friends.”
For 14 years, we went to elementary, middle, and high school together. We played soccer and basketball and baseball together. We ate lunch together. We went out together. We traveled across the globe together (and still do). We had fun together. We fought together.
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Look around ^ It’s true.
If I had the choice, I’d split my time somehow – half between only old friends that I loved hanging out with and half with people I had never met before (people that are different from me). I believe, and am starting to believe now more than ever (thanks to some advice from a “new-old” friend), that you can learn anything from anyone.
You cannot replace what it feels like to be surrounded by a group of people that know you almost as well as you know yourself.
There is no way fabricate these experiences. And they happen everywhere. They know you. You can let your guard down and just be yourself. There is no pressure to prove anything. You are you and no one else.
Old friends make me happiest.
If I could look back on all of the experiences in my life, which do I remember most? Perhaps that is a longer topic for another one of these blog posts…but briefly, and to generalize…I’d say that my most memorable moments are with people that I love the most: My family and my “old friends.”
I’m grateful for the amount of time I had growing up, that allowed me to develop relationships, and perhaps even more importantly, experience incredible things. But I’ll tell you now and probably again in a later post:
Winning alone is not nearly as fun as winning as a team.
That statement applies not only to winning, but also experiencing. Life is more fun when you go through it with others. Trust me, I’ve tried the whole alone thing for 2 months. Introspection is great. But there is nothing in this world more enjoyable than spending time with people. People are everything. They are the best parts of the world & the worst. They make things that will change the world, as well as things that will destroy it.
I am a fan of the people, always.
But sometimes, you have to give up people in favor of different opportunities.
For better or worse, I went to college without any of these old friends of mine. Although we still do keep in contact, and joke around often, it is not the same. Why did I do that? Opportunity cost of going to college. But life moves on, it’s the only way to grow – to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and leave things behind that you are no longer tested by.
Sure, life would have been fun not really changing. But would I have grown nearly as much from it?
My “new friends” here at school – are quickly becoming close friends. Soon I’ll be able to look back and call them old friends. And like I said, that makes me happiest. Experiencing things with people close to me.
Nothing replaces relationships. I’ve filled a lot of things in that void, trust me, people will always win.