“Sometimes there are just particular people who understand you, no matter what – these are old friends.” – Bronnie Ware
There’s this spot in Portugal that holds a very special place in my heart. It’s a little beach, surrounded by cliffs. There’s two restaurants with nice terraces overlooking the sea. I always go to the first one. Not sure why, I guess Pizza and Burgers was all we could afford at 15… and slowly it became ‘the place’.
In high school I didn’t go there that often, only from time to time, I didn’t have that much money to spend either way. But as soon as I joined Uni I was there all the time. It helped that the University was close by, but also that we had an amazing group of friends to go with. Somehow in this group of friends I met 12 years ago (gosh!), a few girls became inseparable. Not literally, obviously, life takes you to different paths, different countries, but we’re always there for each other.
We were great friends at Uni but it was after Uni that we grew even closer. When you don’t see each other every day anymore but you still think about each other. You still text or ring whenever you have something exciting, or terrible to tell. And most of all we would still meet in that same place, talking about life, wondering what to do next, clueless about our futures.
I remember some of those conversations now and I really wish we had recorded it, because it was absolutely hilarious. Each one of us more lost than the other, but trying to follow some sort of path, that somehow turned out OK. We were just clueless.
Two weeks ago, I was home for Christmas, and we had planned to meet up, go for brunch I believe was the original plan. But in a brilliant turn of events, the sun came out and called us out to our special place. Off we went. And it was amazing. A beautiful afternoon I will definitely keep in my heart.
As the conversation flowed, from gossip, jobs, lives, New Year’s resolutions, dreams, I couldn’t help but wishing we could have a time machine, and travel back to that exact same spot, only 10 years ago, and tell those clueless and hilarious girls ‘it’s going to be alright. Don’t worry too much about it’. And in a way I wish those girls could get a glimpse into the future too and see us now, sitting there at the exact same place because, man, would they be proud! I know I am.
It doesn’t mean we have it all figured out, no way. Speaking for myself I am as clueless as ever. But we’ve done alright so far, and I realised (as I said many times before), it’s the journey that counts. It doesn’t really matter if you are 100% sure where you want to end up because, guess what, life ends up getting in the way. Just like the famous quote ‘life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans’; and the truth is, even if you’re not really making much of a plan and just drifting along (like me), it happens either way. And if you’re half-witted and have the courage to enjoy it while it happens, it will be OK.
As the sun set down that day and we left, I couldn’t help but feeling like the luckiest person on earth.
“Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on.
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.” – Mary Schmich, ‘Wear Sunscreen’