New Year’s brings much reflection on the 365 days before it. For me, however, that time extends farther. I moved back to Miami six years ago and there’s been plenty to consider since then. My modus operandi is to continuously move forward, but there’s value in looking back too. Photography helps with this contemplation. Images are like reference points to my life and make memories easier to recall. As I look through photos from my past, the moments tied to them replay in my mind, some blissfully sweet, others painfully difficult.
Overall, life has been filled with good fortune for me. My parents sacrificed much to ensure my brother and I possessed an education to compete in the world. As a result, we’re both successful and independent. All the material things we’d want are available to us and I’m thankful for it, but the last six years have revealed fortune gave me something more valuable, friendship.
I’ve been passively observing the bonds with those around me for two years, watching them form, grow or die out. My goal was to better understand people and what binds us together. The biggest takeaway from my ongoing experiment? Friendships are alive. Yes, it’s said good friends can pick up again after years apart, but how many of us are the same people we once were? A better idea is never to drift so far.
When I look through old photos, who I shared the time with is what stands out. Memories are better recalled when there’s more than one person remembering, preferably over good coffee or a strong drink. Those interactions are the reason for cultivating strong relationships. It’s not just about remembering the past, it’s also a way to better understand ourselves, sharing and growing and learning from each moment.
I’m thankful for all those in my life. As we begin a new year together, I’d like to wish everyone the best. May 2014 be filled with many adventures and many friends to share them with.