It is the unfortunate truth that we probably only have a limited life to live. While we may conquer death soon it is not yet a guarantee. Time is a finite resource and whenever we decide to do one thing we are also deciding not to do all the alternatives. Hell, even when we reach immortality time will still be a finite resource, though a much less demanding one. For example, Proxima Centauri will only go supernova once and if I want to witness that then I am not going to be able to witness some other event elsewhere in the galaxy at that exact time. I guess if the multi-verse theory is true and we are able to figure out how to travel between the infinite universes you might be able to experience everything… but that’s a bit off subject.
One of my favorite things about friendship is it allows for you to experience multiple lives. By choosing a fairly nomadic and child-free life I am missing out on other types of living. But, thanks to friendship those alternative lives are not completely foreign to me. Friendship turns life into a buffet of experiences where you can pick and choose different tastes and flavors from different cuisines. And the more experiences and travels you have the more diverse friendships you build, allowing for a more wide range of experiences.
Many of my friends have lives that wouldn’t allow them to spend three years on a bicycle, but through me they can see photos, read posts, and maybe even join for a week or month of the journey. They don’t need to commit to my life in order to benefit from it, and I get the same opportunities through them. I can live near the beaches of southern California, help raise a child in Texas, work at a gun shop in New Hampshire, explore Australia, live in a commune in Washington State, live on a farm in Colorado, or a thousand other places.
Much of this is thanks to the internet. A decade ago it would have been nearly impossible to keep up with the lives and communicate with the thousands of people I’ve met. That isn’t the case now. Whether I became friends with someone in 4th grade or worked with them in a grocery store in Montana in 2015 I can stay connected, share in their victories, provide support in their defeat, and continue to love them.
Friendship, like love, is not a finite resource. Becoming friends with person doesn’t take away my friendship from others. In fact, they benefit from it. Our relationships become like tree branches that grow and fan out, when one branch draws in energy from the sun it benefits the tree as a whole. The different branches can protect each other and support each other, even if they never actually touch or see each other.
Communication through the internet makes this even more possible, when a friend of mine needs help on a school project I may know an army buddy who lives thousands of miles away that can help them with it, and all it takes is one message to connect them. We truly live in an amazing time where we can almost have it all, and things are getting even better. I’m fucking excited to see how my friendships grow and the new friends that join this little magical tree I’m a part of.