Life Echoes

I sit beside this exact fire once every few years with old friends – most of whom I had not seen since the fire before it. In moments like these, everyone can catch up, let go and share in timeless togetherness again. As if the last fire occurred in the not so distant past, conversations and idiosyncrasies flashback in ways that challenge the passing of time. Reunions often cathartically reorient your core and priorities. You remember who you were, remember who your friends were and remind each other. Save for a few nostalgic campfire stories, the echo of your past happens subliminally. It feels like reverberation in your memory – like a moment worth reliving. Reunions enrich the soul. Without losing yourself to total nostalgia, I recommend assembling them as often as you can.

Old Acquaintances and Second Chances

People change. Sometimes enough that they mature into completely different people. Strange to be back in my hometown – I’ve noticed that many old friends have an aversion to other people they knew in high school and have not seen since. Why shy away from folks you used to know? Perhaps you both have changed into a more compatible pair. I’ve seen many partnerships form between people who did not respect each other when they were younger. Some started businesses together. Others got married. You never know who you might bump into or connect with on a fresh level. At the very least, it’s worth the introduction. Avoid trading numbers if the reintroduction fails. But do not close your mind on outdated memories and awkward nostalgia. Ignore the past and give second chances where possible. You might build some great new relationships out of the deal.

Make It Memorable

Special moment? Do anything you can to preserve it. Take a picture, scribble a note or steal a memento. Mark the occasion with celebration. Indulge in vice or break your own rules if you have to. Whatever it takes to help you hold onto the moment forever. Do not count on memory; it may fail you later. More likely than not, your recollection of the event will lapse from relevancy. Even the slightest trinket or scribble can help it all come back when you least expect it. Life is made up of poignant moments. It is important to revisit, track and learn from them. Nostalgia helps you recontextualize the things that are most important in life. If you collect anything, collect memories.

Invest In Your Childhood

I don’t care how immature or nerdy it may seem; everyone needs to invest in his or her childhood once in a while. Revisit old cartoons, movies, video games, board games, books, and destinations. Spend money on the things you loved as a child. I just purchased the new Legend of Zelda; after nearly two years devoid of video games, I look forward to burning a good 50 hours on it. Why revisit your childhood? It’s a grounding experience. Through nostalgia, you refresh core values and trace your steps. You come to appreciate who you are and where you came from. It’s important for building identity. It’s important for building the soul.

Do not hesitate to buy and enjoy that childhood classic. Screw the person who tells you to grow up.

Call People With Your Phone (That’s What It’s There For)

Random calls work like magic. Through cold-calling old friends in an effort to “stay in touch,” I’ve discovered great collaborators, learned things I could never imagine, and been offered jobs. Keeping your network fresh is important. And it’s really easy to do when you find yourself bored, commuting, or waiting for laundry. Just pick up your phone. Skim through your contacts. Pick someone you have not spoken to in a while. Call the person. Don’t think about it. Just do it. Think you need a reason to call someone? “Catching up” is a perfect reason to call someone. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: stay in touch.

Clean Up Your Mess & Re-Learn Something New

It’s worth organizing and filing old documents, especially items from college. Papers you wrote. Worksheets you completed. Projects you submitted. Course readers. Class notes. To reduce the clutter in my life, I am scanning all of my college documents as digital copies and recycling the leftovers. Through the process, you skim almost everything. Inadvertently, you remember (and re-learn) old things that you learned long ago and have since forgotten. Little lessons here, little takeaways there. Organizing your life in this way is a magical experience. I suggest you try it.