Don’t Choose Your Path Through Deluded Eyes

I had the chance this past week to go to lunch with a couple of old friends. We’ve all know each other for the better part of 43 years. I know now how blessed I am to still have them in my life.

We all played sports together , went to school together and, became attached at the hip throughout our childhood years, all the way into our mid 20s. Being with these guys day-in and day-out for 15 years. You get to know someone pretty well. Through one event and another, we all lost contact for about 10 years only talking here and there on the phone.

Sometimes your path in life becomes deluded. Promising a euphoric feeling never experienced before and, you become intoxicated. Intoxicated with the danger. With the thrill. Your willing to step out on ledges not intended to be stepped on. I took that route. Logic and sensibility to a backseat to living in-the-now. I didn’t think about how my choices would affect me later in life. I was to busy chasing instant gratification. I wouldn’t take anyones advice because “I knew it all”. My dad, looking back, had nothing but the best intentions and advice for me. But would I listen. No.

There was a period that I went through from around 16 to 25 years of age that I call my, “experimental years”. Years that I pushed the bounds growing up. I pushed the limits going from teenage rebellion to almost adult felon. These are the years that shame me most in my adulthood. These are the years I should have used to build my foundation for my future. But I wasted them. Literally. Not only did I wasted them, I spent them wasted. If there was a drug to do, I was there. If there was a bottle of scotch to drink, I wouldn’t leave until I finished it all. I flirted with serious jail time. I pushed life to the limits in those days. I wouldn’t look for a fight, but wound up in the middle of a few.

Now you see why I lost touch with some dear friends. There comes a time in everyone’s lives when it’s time to settle down, think about growing up. They just hit that point in there lives before I did. But I’m glad to say that’s all behind all of us now. That was a day when I lived for myself. Thought of only myself. Now we get together as often as life allows and prattle about days past.

When I catch my mind wandering or, wakeup from a daydream, it’s about the times I spent with this group of friends. These are the guys that new me. The real me. Not the me that put up borders. Not the me that guarded his thoughts, feeling and emotions. I’d do things a bit differently, but those were the times I most treasure. Reconnecting has flooded my head with great memories.

This all leads me to the discussion I would like to have with all of you. These guys that I grew up with. And not only these two, but a few others as well that we all were really close to, welcomed be back with no questions asked. Willing to look past all the mistakes and my fuck-up’s in the past. No one ever questioned me about anything or held anything over my head. If I wanted to talk about it they would listen. They didn’t pry or set any kind of conditions. Now you know why I’m blessed to have them back in my life.

I’d love to hear comments if you’ve ever had an experience where you drifted from close friends and reconnected. How is the relationship now? Is it as close as it was in the past? Or is it closer? Maybe it didn’t work out as expected? Would you even give someone like me another chance?

Tom Me John

Me and Rick

Bob Me and John

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10 comments

  1. Great post Tony.
    It sounds like we had similar teenage years. When my son was 13 he started down a similar path. That was my “moment of clarity” that altered my perspective and made me realize how my actions affected others and not just me. It’s not like I only eat raw food and water now but I changed some things about my life that had a huge impact on my kids (and my son did not continue the spiral).
    In high school I had a close group of friends and we kept in touch for years. I only lost touch after I got divorced 5 years ago. It seemed like it was another reality shift for me and people just didn’t get it. We may reconnect at some time but either way, life is good!

  2. Red
    Thanks for your insight. I’m glad your son didn’t follow that path. I love the analogy, “eat raw food and drink water now”. Nor do I. I just wish I would have made better choices in those early years. But it’s the choices of yesterday that make up our social DNA now. Thanks again for taking the time to read and get the conversation rolling!

  3. Your wastrel times were not a waste, because you came out of them wiser and stronger. You probably could not have learned any other way.

    1. Dion
      Thanks for checking my site out! Your correct, lessons lived are lessons learned. And learned well.

  4. That was a great post. You have no regrets. The journey made you who you are today: stronger and wiser. We are on on a journey. Some of us stay on the bus with each other longer than others. We are all in each others’ lives for a reason and a season. But true friends—the ones that REALLY KNOW you—are the ones that are still on the bus with you…they may be somewhere having another conversation with someone else, but they are still there.

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and post a reply. Everyday, every step is a new adventure now. I wouldn’t abandon that bus again ever.

  5. Way cool. So glad you are connecting with old friends.

    1. Patrick
      Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. Some things in life just shouldn’t be taken for granted and I’m afraid thats exactly what I did. Took those friends for granted at the time. Live and learn.

  6. I don’t have the luxury of friends that old, as we moved a lot when I was young. I do have the luxury of having some very good friends I’ve just made in the last couple of years. I have done ‘time’ in prison, as a member of a Kairos Prison Ministry International team, and those are some guys I’m close to. You have Kairos in Australian prisons.

    1. I’ve been fortunate enough to have good friends in my life for a long time. However, new friends are always a welcome addition. Thanks for commenting Robert.

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