What I Used to Think Was Important

 

Time seems to go by incredibly fast, which isn’t surprising and should give everyone the impetus to act now and not delay any desired ventures. It seems like almost yesterday that I was in the fourth grade being wrongfully accused of mouthing expletives at my teacher. A lot has changed since then, namely that I now have the privilege of working on my master’s degree, meeting many people much smarter than I am.

Until I was about twenty, time seemed to move very slowly. I felt like life was taking forever to happen. I was mired in general coursework I didn’t enjoy. I thought that I was never going to get a girlfriend and that I would forever be haplessly single. Needless to say, my prospects were not encouraging.

What’s happened since has been crazy. I started to drink and go out more, fulfilling virtually all of my weekends with trying to meet as many women as I could while simultaneously developing a fetish for Grey Goose. During this time I met a lot of cool people, but I also met a lot of sketchy individuals. I learned the difference between love and lust, how to become a better “bro”, and the reality that the majority of the people in the world could care less about me. There were times I felt invincible, and there were times I looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize the person I saw. This tumultuous sequence hardened me, and because of this I tried to form a tight nucleus of friends I knew I could rely on. People entered and exited this circle, and throughout I learned a lot about these people. Every one of them had a story, and I relished the opportunity to hear it. Yet, there was always something missing.

It’s weird how many people I used to hang out with during my self-enlightenment stage are no longer a part of my life. The reasons vary from valid to incomprehensible, but I can’t say a bad word about any of them. They all positively impacted me at some juncture. I used to think it was cool how drinking brought us together. I still believe drinking has a way of forming solidarity among people, but when the drinking dynamic is taken away, I slowly realized how little I had in common with some of these people.

I used to have this friend, PG (for the sake of this post). He and I used to drink and play NHL whenever our schedules aligned. It was great because we would get drunk and talk trash to each other while we battled for virtual superiority. Once I moved away from campus, we rarely saw each other. Granted, not being able to walk to each other’s respective places had an effect on our time spent together, but it showed how little we each valued that friendship. I don’t say this to mean that we both are selfish people who never go out of our ways on behalf of others. Rather, we just didn’t need each other anymore. I found other people to hang out with, and he presumably did the same. PG and I are still boys, but our relationship will never be what it was.

There was a time that I tried to convince myself that I could spend the rest of my life partying and doing whatever I wanted. Getting a real job seemed like an extremely foreign concept. It’s crazy because days and thoughts like that seem so long ago. College is a microcosm of life, in that people come and go, and things change. The activities that for so long I thought would dominate the rest of my life are no longer a part of who I am. I no longer go to bars looking to hook up with random women. I no longer look past Tuesdays and Wednesdays in anticipation of Thirsty Thursdays. This line of thinking, while at times saddening, is more than anything refreshing. Subconsciously I will always look back on those days with fondness. College has taught me a lot about how the world works, most importantly that it is best to be honest with yourself and others. In honor of this sentiment I must admit that I was mouthing the f-word at my teacher back on that fateful day in the fourth grade. In my defense, she was making a future writer practice long division in front of the whole class.

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