Ever since I got my first camera I started this hobby of putting together photo albums. I think I was highly influenced by my grandmother who keeps photo albums since the beginning of times (camera times), starting with a picture of her father with his grandmother till today. I love every album. I know every single album by heart, still every time I go there I find myself looking at it all over again.
I love it so much that as soon as I got my camera, I must have been 8 years old, I started making albums as well. I’ll be honest, the first ones are such crap that I can’t even remember where I’ve stored it. But from 1998 till now I have a pretty decent collection. Unfortunately, as I moved to the UK and wasn’t allowed much clutter I had to leave my albums back at my parents. It’s not necessarily bad because now, every time I go back, when I have a spare minute, I sit back on my bed and look at my albums. I particularly love the ones from 1998/99 and 2000, and then from UNI on.
I realize as I look at old pictures how many amazing people I was fortunate enough to meet, how much I learned from everyone, and what impact they had on my life and on who I became. I particularly love finding pictures of my best friends, the ones I’m ‘besties’ with, mostly so I can make fun of our outfits and silly faces.
But see, as life moves on at its pace (sometimes too fast, if you ask me), you meet other people, you fail to catch up with everyone who was ever in your life (how could you?) and soon you realize only a few friends tend to be the same as the years pass. Other people come and go, but only a few remain the same. And that’s only natural.
When I was looking at those old pictures, instead of digging for old embarrassing pictures of my besties, I found myself thinking of the ‘come and go’ people in my life. I have quite a few. It doesn’t mean that all of them have ‘gone’ for good or that I have completely lost contact, no, with some I still have contact, and some I still keep up with through social media (bless). I’m just not as close to them as I am with the besties, or as maybe I once was, I don’t see them every day as maybe I once did, I don’t catch up as much as I used to…
I have to be honest, I am not the best at keeping the momentum going. As a firm believer of ‘Carpe Diem’ (not to an extreme), I like to enjoy things when they happen and not to force anything. I like to soak in as much of everyone I meet as possible. Learn everything I can, enjoy their company, have fun, try to get to know that person whilst she/he’s in my life, try to make that person’s time with me as good as it gets, enjoy all the little things, as I don’t know how long it will last. Sometimes you’re surprised to find out, that even if the circumstances change you still manage to catch up, and you’re still good friends. But truth is you can’t possible stay close friends forever with everyone you meet. People will move on and so will you.
It doesn’t mean you don’t like those people anymore. NO, no, no. You still cherish them, wish them all the best in life, and when you learn good things are happening to them (weddings, babies, promotions, launching businesses, etc.) you are tremendously happy for them. Sometimes the ‘come and go‘ people are even the ones who teach you the most valuable lessons. And I for one will forever cherish the moments spent together. But I also know, that even if we were to recreate the same circumstances, with the same people, and try it all over again, it wouldn’t be the same. People grow apart, different cities, different jobs, different lives, different interests, whatever it is it just happens. And accepting that will allow you to look at the past with love, but not dwell on it, to not have regrets, and to be truly happy if you ever see those people again.
I have so many of these people, amazing moments, people who probably don’t even know how much they helped me becoming who I am today. People who made me tremendously happy and of whom I think often: Old friends from school; People from my first degree in Uni, who made me feel so special; people from my actual degree (hotel management) who were in my class and made those three years the most fun and extraordinary ever; people who I did my internships with – I’ll never ever forget the summer in Algarve or the one in Tenerife, and will always carry the people I met there in my heart; people I met when doing promotions, who made me laugh through the painful hours, or taught me so many lessons; People at my first job in Portugal, and then in the UK, who made me feel like a million bucks, from whom I learned so much and who I cherish forever. Thank heavens for Facebook, so we can at least still try to keep up.
As for the nasty ‘come and goes’ in your life, there will be a few too, I’m sure you’ve noticed. If you’re lucky you’ll see straight through them and avoid closeness. Occasionally you won’t see it straight away, but no worries, I am sure they’ll teach you a valuable lesson, at least that’s how I choose to look at my ‘nasty ones‘: learn my lesson and move on.
I know sometimes people can hold a grudge because ‘they didn’t stay as close friends as they ‘pinky swore’’, ‘they didn’t grow up together’ as they thought they would, ‘they never expected to grow apart from that person’ and they did, they ‘thought everything was always going to be as intense as in that 3 day music festival’… Unfortunately sometimes, life has other plans. Sometimes people who weren’t even in your class in Uni are the ones who become your besties; Sometimes it is forever as intense as it was at that music festival; Sometimes you do stay friends forever. But sometimes you don’t, and it’s OK. Just find peace in knowing, that maybe one day you’ll see each other again, and you can have so much fun remembering the old stories.
As for me, I’ll keep living the moment, enjoying every bit of every second, and of every awesome person I meet. And will always be happy to receive or send a random message because something reminded me of that person, will always be happy to run into those ‘come and go’ friends and catch up. Will always be thankful for the good moments.