One of the best perks of traveling is meeting new people – interesting people of all backgrounds. But you don’t need to travel to meet them. In fact, you meet a lot of people just by… living. And over the course of your life you may come to suddenly realize the many people you meet – whether they turn out to be great friends, colleagues or just passing strangers – are but slight reflections of who you are. I recall meeting an old friend who gave me a glimpse into my future…
I met “Hermes” in my early college years. He was boisterous, laughed loudly was always the “life of the party”. You always remembered him. I became friends with him when I got stoned off my first THC-infused brownie and greened out. He was the first person I sought out not because I thought he would be the most helpful, but because he was the first guy I remembered.
We became good buddies as he endearingly referred to me as “brownie boy”. It was a clique sort of thing. We partied a lot. Got drunk a lot. We did a lot of dumb things. They became good party friends but not much beyond that. I enjoyed their company and we were all cool with each other. But most of the time I was with them, I was on something: weed, alcohol, or something else entirely. It became a routine: go out, party, get trashed, crash and leave the next day. Rinse and repeat. I never really developed a deeper relationship.
The “falling out” period between friends never happened. We didn’t fight or grow tired of each other. We simply drifted apart. I haven’t seen him for over three years and last I heard he was still doing the same old things: jumping from job to job, owing people money, and having a large circle of acquaintances and friends.
He didn’t seem to have a permanent address for more than a few months. He was like a traveler. A nomad, always on vacation, not settling down, and moving constantly. He rarely ever got upset. He always seemed happy and cheerful not counting the fact he was a pothead and addicted to the partying lifestyle.
It was then I realized just what I would’ve become if I continued down his path.
There was nothing wrong with him. He was good-natured. But he seemed aimless and without ambition. He went on the motto, “live life to the fullest” maximizing his present life at the expense of his future. As much as I wanted to just say “f-ck it” to everything: a career, my future, my family, I couldn’t. I couldn’t continue down this path. I had too much ambition. I had goals and I wanted to accomplish them.
I haven’t talked to Hermes in a while but I still consider him a friend as with the others. But like the most fun things in life, they are better in small doses. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing. We are all eternal travelers if you think about it. But I am the traveler who needs a direction and a purpose.