For anyone who doesn’t spend their life roaming the globe in search of new, beautiful vistas to lay their sore eyes upon, life has a steady rhythm, a solid ticking. Change is going to come, no matter what you say, and change might seem like a constant. Slow and steady wins the race. But it’s not true, not even for the settlers among us.
The Transient Nature of Friendships
For someone who is always on the move, this becomes all the more apparent. You’re constantly making new friends, and they may turn into your best friends in a very short time. You find yourself sharing your most intimate inner thoughts and feelings with this person who was a complete stranger up until a few short, but eventful, days ago. Then you both move on to the next place, maybe you share the road for a while, but you both know that it will end at some point.
You promise to keep in touch, you make friends on Facebook and you might send each other a message every now and then. But you know even that is doomed. Thank God for Facebook, it has enabled the modern day traveller to record all his new friendships and see them fade away in the distance of the real world. You build a community of virtual vagabonds who all enjoy sharing their hobo-like existence with their friends and family, some are better at it than others, and all in all it helps create a more dynamic feed with the mix of babies born all over the world and the latest shots from Asian backpacker destinations.
When you’ve done this for a while you become tired. Especially when you return and catch up with old friends, realising they’ve all moved on in different directions. Some have great, intense and tight friendship bonds with others, a painful observation to the lonely traveller on the road with no one.
But it’s not all bad. Sometimes you reconnect with someone you used to know a long time ago. Maybe you even find a new friend among your old acquaintances. Things change, and sometimes the change can bring two people together again.
The Transient Nature of Change
In the end, you realise the transient nature of travel is just a quicker and more intense representation of the transient nature of life itself. If you go looking for change, change will come in full force. Nothing is constant, not even change as even change changes. More and less, a baby is more change than a new coffee mug. Some days are almost the same as the one before, others are completely different.
Why is that such a bad thing? Why do we feel the need to only raise the long lasting and steady constant to the sky? A brief but intense moment is not worth any less than all of eternity. We’re not put on this Earth as immortals, we are by our very nature transient beings. We will pass, and so will our experiences and relationships, some more quickly than others.
Instead of fighting to make them last and thereby living in the future, you should embrace the now and enjoy the moment as it happens in time. Extend it if you can, plan for more further down the line. You need to let go and not live in the past. Stroll down memory lane every now and then and smile at experiences gone, and then return to the present. Neither should you live in the moment alone. Even though our current culture seems to celebrate that notion with the juvenile phrase yolo being flung around as an excuse to act like an ass. You can not forget the past and the future, because you’d never learn and you’d never live. It all needs to fit to make a life, because time is an illusion; time is not constant because time is only experienced.
If you learn to embrace and love the intense moments when life is real, no matter how breif, you learn to live life itself.