I met up with an old friend from school the other day. The last time I had properly spoken to him was just over 5 years ago. Then, suddenly, we bumped into each other and arranged to meet for a drink.
It was really nice actually. After moving away and coming back, I have lost touch with a lot of people around these parts, so it was really good to reconnect with somebody.
You don’t realise how much can change over 5 years. I learnt all about what he had done over the years and, in all honesty, I felt really sorry for him. He told me how he has struggled to get any job over the years. He told me how his serious epilepsy prevents him from learning to drive and has meant that his mechanic qualifications have gone to waste. I remember when we were younger and all he wanted to do was be a mechanic. He loved (and still does) cars and his illness has meant that he cannot do what he always dreamed of.
He told about his long trips to the hospital involving brain scans and lots of blood tests. He told me about the fact that he really wants to work so that he can feel productive and have a purpose, but his condition makes him unable. He suffers blackouts which means its unsafe for him to even leave the house without having one person there. This means he isn’t allowed to be unsupervised unless he is safely in his home.
I couldn’t help but feel guilty. I have done so much over the last 5 years. I completed my undergraduate degree, I created a life in a city, made friends and went to parties. I even felt guilty because of all the things I have set up for my future. I have work experience scheduled and I am beginning a postgraduate qualification.
I have spoken to others from my school life recently too. Some are doing really well. I know that one is a fully qualified aeroplane engineer, a few are at university studying and some have started families. However, others are in poor situations, like him.
It makes you realise how much can change over 5 years, for the good or the bad. That’s why you should cherish the good moments whilst you can, because you never know what will happen later.
My friend didn’t know his life would take a 360 and there were bad things coming his way. But, he is so positive about it. He kept saying about ‘when’ he’s able to learn to drive. He has such a optimistic attitude towards to his future despite all his set backs.
I realised that I need to relax and enjoy the good moments, rather than worrying about what might go wrong. I have such a hard time obsessing over the potential for bad that I never get a chance to actually be happy when there is nothing going wrong. I mean, the bad things might happen BECAUSE I am worrying about them so much that they become true. I learnt very quickly when talking to him that I need to be more positive and enjoy myself in the moment.