My Bachelor of Science diploma from Oral Roberts University has “Marketing” written on it, but had the option been available to major in “Nostalgia,” I might have a PhD by now.
There’s always been a tendency within me to look back at different periods of my life as “the good ol’ days” and with it a deep desire to reassemble my life and relationships in a way that might again resemble those memories. Years pass and suddenly I realize those times I spent thinking about the good ol’ days were indeed the good ol’ days themselves in their own unique ways.
While past relationships may have transitioned or passed away, new ones consistently bring richness to my life that is pertinent to exactly what I’m experiencing in each season.
When I was a boy, holidays and summer vacations meant a drive to the Texas panhandle to see my grandparents. Next door to them lived a boy named Randy who was about 3 years older than me. At the time, I didn’t have any idea that he was so much older. The only thing I cared about was that Randy was bigger, stronger, faster, and braver than me—and he was my friend!
Many afternoons were spent perched in our secret hideout conspiring about how we would launch our next attack on the evil that lurked in outer space. Galactic pirates had been running rampant, but the minute Randy showed up with me at his side, they always seemed to be on the wrong end of the fight.
For years, my visits were highlighted by our adventures around the neighborhood.
I was so proud the day I got my first black eye falling out of the wagon we raced down the street. “Danger” instantly became my middle name as Randy taught me the precise techniques to performing a proper tackle.
Naturally, one summer of middle school when I ran next door to see Randy and he was nowhere to be found, it took me completely off guard. Each of the next three days, I’d ask his mother where he was and each time I was disappointed to find out his high school friends left him little time for a 7th grader.
A little pit formed in my heart as I realized all the adventures with my friend had come to an end.
There have been a lot of Randys in my lifetime. I’ve discovered first hand that as the seasons change, so do people. As a result, more often than not, the relationships that we have will also transition. When those common bonds occur and we find special connections for a period of time, it’s often difficult to understand why the winds of time and change often seem to pull friends away with them. It doesn’t always seem fair or logical.
Suddenly, you look around to find yourself perched alone in an old dead tree. The secret hideout is gone and so is your friend. The galactic pirates are nowhere to be found.
Even as a young adult, friendships have come and gone, and my first tendency is to be the one to want to hold on to the connection that was so special to me at one time. No matter how hard I try, I’ve often been left feeling helpless as I realize the good ol’ days with that person are no longer.
I now believe the tapestry of my story will be woven from the threads of the souls that intersected with mine during my lifetime.
Some colors will appear more vibrant and predominant than others, yet each individual thread of that tapestry is essential to its structural integrity.
Be thankful for the lives that made yesterday a blessing. Live every moment in the moment with the ones that make today beautiful. Be hopeful for the ones that will create a future of excitement.
These are the good ol’ days.
*Photo credit: Photography King