Beer Soaked Thoughts During A Long Weekend

It is always good to be in the presence of old friends especially for an extended period.  People always fall into the old familiar patterns like comfortable jeans.  The more beautiful thing is how the positions are often the same, but things shift and change just slightly as everyone gets older and moves to different places in their lives.  Marriages, divorces, kids, new jobs, promotions all change how people see themselves in their real lives and how they relate to each other in their familiar past lives.

The sarcastic old jokes don’t get old, but they take on an air of nostalgia and occasional wistfulness.  Not sadness, but a feeling of things past, not forgotten, and forever loved.  These old patterns aren’t some need to relive the past, but a comforting way to remember your former younger self.  That point in life when almost all things were possible and your life was all ahead of you.

The older you get, the closer you get to the end then you are to the beginning, the more you need to remember what you used to be and what you thought you could become.  The familiar jokes the stories of the great times had are all just a way to stay young.  Not in a sad stunted way, but in a celebration of former lives and potential that may still exist.

This feeling is often manifested during the extended family dinner.  Usually some banquet of bad food, beer and shit talking that only old good friends can participate in for an extended period of time.  The joy of insulting and being insulted by people who have seen you in your best and your worst yet still want to call you friend is unmatched in any other part of life.  Family is blood.  They have to like you or at least deal with you on a regular basis.  Friends choose you and you choose them.

That makes the bond different and in some cases tighter then families.  You have to decide every day to keep friends in your life.  You have to choose to accept their faults and hope they accept yours.  That is friends are often more important to me than my family.  That is not to say my family isn’t important to me.  The events of the past few years has taught me how important and how loving family actual is.

However, my friends, my true friends, have been just as constant as my family and often have expected more from me then my family.  That is the beauty of the friends.  They have seen you at your best and your worst and since they love you they expect more of the best always.  They don’t always demand it vocally, but they demand it none the less.

If your life is successful, on those dark nights of the soul when you are trying to decide what went wrong you should think of the people who know you and want you to be successful more then you should think of all the shit flowing through your life.  Thinking of how they believe in you will make you continue on.  Those people will keep you going even when you don’t think you can succeed yourself.


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