September 20, 2007

Today, a friend celebrates his 29th birthday.  So, instead of writing a current event journal, I have chosen to reflect on the memories that I have shared with my friend, Adam.  I met Adam in April of 2004, when I was starting a long-distance hike through the Appalachian Mountain Range.  The next 4 months I spent more than half of every single day that passed with him, and – needless to say – we got to know each other pretty well.  In that 4 month time period, with little more than each other to entertain ourselves with (most of the time), and to converse with, I got to know Adam more than I know almost anyone else.  During those times, we both saw each other’s best and worst moments.  A little background: we were both hiking a somewhat isolated hiking trail in the mountains.  To traverse the entire trail (approximately 2200 miles), it took the “average” person 5-6 months.  People go out to escape life, to find answers, find themselves, challenge themselves…a number of reasons.  Over half of the people that get out and try this trail leave after a week.  You are usually completely isolated from civilization, and you have to carry everything you really need (food, clothing, water, shelter) on your back.  In short, it is an experience that will teach you a lot – about yourself, others, what does and does not really matter, the real importance of material goods, and many other things.  So you could gain a sense of how – if two people can stand to be around each other in this climate without killing each other – how people can bond so well after such a short period of time.  The irony is that I haven’t seen Adam since August 2004, but I still consider him to be one my closest friends.  We keep in touch by phone, e-mail, and occasional letters or postcards.  We have both moved on from our traveling adventures – he is a consultant for a green building consulting firm in D.C., and I am a graphics coordinator for a therapeutic artwork consulting firm.  Our conversations have been getting more and more sporadic as time goes by, but we still both find the time to catch up and keep in touch with each other, however limited that time may be.  What is great about Adam, though, is that I can still start up a conversation with him from where we last left off, as if that conversation had only left off from the previous day.  I also feel like he is one of those rare people that I can say anything to – someone I can confide in – and I feel it is the same for him.  It may be unfortunate that you find only a few people outside of your own family (or, even within your family) that you can really trust in this way, but I find it to be fortunate that I have at least one.  So, tonight, I will get in touch with my old friend again, wish him a happy birthday, and catch up on old times. 

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