All of us have many classmates / coworkers / other close friends that we have shared meaningful life experiences with. Such as going to school, college, our first jobs, our kids’ early years, and so on.
And as it usually happens, over the years, our paths have diverged. Some even radically so! But because we have shared those meaningful experiences with them, when they share their life experiences with us later on in life, those experiences can be a lot more meaningful to us than to some random person in the street. It is as if you have lived their lives to some extent.
This is like getting a chance to live multiple lives in one lifetime! Or what I might call living a “Quantum life”. What a great privilege it is to have such a diverse set of friends who are still very close!
This idea led me to butcher one of the most popular poems of all time. (It turns out that the poem has been widely misinterpreted already, so I’m going to assume this is ok. 🙂 ):
Many roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel all of them.
So I took one path, but no worries,
My friends, with whom I had shared my formative years,
Took all the others.
Just like a beam of light,
Diffracting through a slit.
I shall be telling this with a sigh,
Somewhere ages and ages hence,
When this quantum function is about to collapse,
That I took all of them, perhaps.
(I took Quantum Mechanics in college,
And because he was born too soon,
The great Robert Frost couldn’t,
And that has made all the difference.)