Time is an unstoppable beast.
Regardless of wealth, health or power, no human can escape the constraints of time.
But death is not the worry.
As time flies by, I can’t help but notice the different paths my friends have taken. With every passing year, we’ve all matured into someone wiser — but have also grown further apart.
We are becoming adults.
As joyful as it is to see us all grow, it hurts to see those paths diverge from one another, separating us into exciting new places.
Some friends move, others mature quicker and some progress to new chapters.
Just entering my 20s, I have friends with full-time jobs, degrees, homes and children. Some of whom I haven’t heard from in a long time.
It’s rarely personal — we are growing up, after all — but I can’t help but miss many of the people I used to see daily, and now see annually, if at all. It hurts.
And it doesn’t help that I have my own, growing obligations to worry about.
Clashing with this newfound responsibility can be exhausting. Not only do we find ourselves busier than ever before, but even the time with our close friends — who are still around — takes on a greater value.
While the frequency of these “links” has dialed back significantly, I treasure these times more than ever before. Lounging around and watching TV every day was nice, but too many days go by without us spending time with our loved ones.
Nothing beats my teenage years of being an idiot with my friends, walking into McDonalds only to order way too many McNuggets, or line up next to hundreds of cosplayers on the opening night of any given “Star Wars” or “Marvel Cinematic Universe” film, always cheering with the audience as we became the first people to see the crazy twists.
But as adults, our adventures are more adventurous. Now we can do anything. Sixteen-year-old me could have never imagined that kayaking down the Hudson River by sunset or visiting my friends in college would be so exciting. But the real highlights of the adventures aren’t getting to do fun things. It’s doing those things with the people we call family. These moments would be relatively meaningless among strangers; among friends, they mean the world.
And I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Of course, it can be difficult to keep in contact with the people we rarely see. That’s why FaceTime and texting are more important than ever. Even with no extra reason, a random call to an old friend can brighten up their — and your — day and prove that no matter how far apart you may be, a genuine friendship is just that: a genuine friendship.
No one wants to be a burden. But at the end of the day, I have found I’d rather stay in contact with a loved one than risk calling at a bad time.
They’ll appreciate it even if they’re busy.
The busyness only intensifies the longer we live.
But that’s no excuse. The greater the intensity, the greater we need to love.
There is no such thing as not enough time to spread love.
In the short term, I find myself in a weird spot.
Many of my friends have either graduated or are busier than before. What used to be weekly hangouts has morphed into distant family members I seldom see. But they never leave my heart.
It’s strange: we used to be dumbasses who didn’t know what to do with our lives.
In the words of Kanye West: “As kids, we used to laugh, who knew that life would move this fast?”
And just like that, we found ourselves at this point, living our own lives, finding our own selves.
Yet no matter where those people go, nothing can take away the memories we made with them.
We can’t afford to dismiss our happiest memories when we feel our lowest, for they can remind us how great times have and will be again.
When we feel stressed, or even depressed, it feels lonely that we’re not near our old friends.
But that doesn’t mean they’re not thinking of us too, missing us, reflecting on those same memories.
There’s never a goodbye; only a see you later.
Alex Falter is the senior arts editor and can be reached at email@example.com