I have just come back from a reunion with old friends I met in college in France in 1992! Some I have not seen in 8 years, others in the past 25 years.
We looked back on old photos and reminisced on old times and how simple our lives were. Plans were made and miraculously kept, amazing without digital technology we all over-rely on these days. We were not involved in group chats that ate into precious time or fuelled negativity. If someone made a mistake it did not go viral & was forgotten about in no time.
For that one year abroad we had the same coats and shirts and jeans. There was no fast fashion or throw-away attitude. Our friends were steadfast and we were open to discovering new friendships – a blank canvas as such with no history attached. We were also very independent and had to figure out things for ourselves. Away from home, for the first time, we had to open bank accounts, get student cards, enrol for classes, and get travel passes and student visas all by ourselves without the involvement (or credit cards!) of parents… and all through a different language too. Great memories & great times to grow, develop & discover without being under the surveillance of social media.
So this October when we met up we hiked up the beautiful Slieve Liag cliffs in Donegal and the phone was only produced once for selfies at the summit. Here we could pause, and breathe, and reflect on the past 25 years. They have indeed passed in the blink of an eye. Yet we are all the same, maybe a few more wrinkles & hidden grey hairs, but inherently the same, an eclectic mix of individuals who spent a year together that became friends. I wonder would this happen nowadays with such a diverse group who don’t march to the same drum but yet see the humanity in each other.
Pause, breathe & reflect. And catch up with old friends; it is indeed good for the soul.
360me minding your self