As we get older, we sometimes lose our inner child. The part of us that makes us fearless, unwillingness to take no for an answer, and the unwavering loyalty we have to the people we call our best friends. As a kid, there is no thought process, judgment, or questioning of why we are friends with people; it is more of a way of life. Moving forward usually means changes to our group of friends, not staying in touch with people that we assumed would be in our lives forever, and huge life adjustments like being in serious relationships or having kids of our own. The kicker is we subconsciously make those choices by ignoring a phone call, not responding to a text, or deleting an email assuming that the person who reached out will try again.
Recently, I finished watching the movie TAG. A film based on a true story of five friends that had been playing the same game of tag for the last 28 years. Seriously, this story was in The Wall Street Journal and a slew of other major publications back in 2013. These five men had moved to different areas of the country, got married, had children, and were heads of major corporations. Once a year for an entire month they would show up in random places to tag one another just like when they were kids to avoid not being “it” for another year. Can you imagine flying 800 miles to hide behind a car or creating an insane disguise just to tag your friend for the sake of not being “it” the next year? The 11-month strategy and planning that goes into a game that has been happening for 28 years has to keep all of them sharp and a little paranoid but more importantly connected.
The moral of the movie had nothing to do with the game of tag, but more about how invaluable they believed their friendship was to each other. We have the ability in the 21st century to stay in touch with people that are important to us no matter where they are in this world. We use life as an excuse. I’m too tired to text you back. My kids are more important than responding to this email that will take 5 minutes. I need to watch the new Game of Thrones episode with my significant other instead of taking this phone call for 10 minutes. I read an article the other day that said there are 86,400 seconds in a day and the author said this: “Every day we get up we are blessed with this amount of time to connect with the people that matter. There are no refunds, no exchanges, and no roll-over to the next day. There are also no guarantees you will be around tomorrow to experience another 86,400 seconds.”
There are 31,536,000 seconds in a year. Use every second to connect. Call your best friend from high school for 900 seconds, laugh through text in a college group chat and reminisce for 300 seconds, or spend 1800 seconds with your parents watching a sitcom on T.V. Use the time that you have to relate to the people that made you who you are in this life. To every person that made me who I am today – “I like you because you join in on my weirdness.” I just have one question. Are you ready to be “it”?