I have many friends. We’ve all made many friends, and had many friends over our lives. Through school or work or parties or whatever. I respect all the friends I’ve made, and I share a bond with them based on admiration of character. Because I know their struggle, identify with it, and respect their desire to strive for more, to be the best version of themselves they can conjure.
My childhood friends, specifically this group, is unique.
We share struggles. Unique struggles. Struggles before I knew what was worth struggling for.
We share the struggles of adolescence, of chaotic home life, of finding identify and peace, of reconciling death, of competition.
These are the struggles that we rarely choose. They are chosen for us. As children, we are given a life and circumstances. We chose nothing. Not our parents. Not our hometown. Many times not even our friends or interests. Our lives just unfold according to the influences we find ourselves in, for better or worse.
As we grow, we learn to navigate and make sense of them, and determine the best way for overcoming the circumstances we were born into.
This process happens on an individual level. But we have been fortunate to go through this journey together. The deepest struggles and our choices to overcome them, define our character.
We’ve all have and had our individual journeys. But we’ve all shared a significant part of that journey together.
In my mind, each of you is the kid I grew up with. The first impression you made on me remains today. The kind hearts. The intelligence. The zeal for life.
You’re still those kids to me. No one else will replace that bond.