I re-bought Final Fantasy VII on Steam a while back and spent a a bit of time re-playing. I can’t think of any other game that would bring me back to my school days quite like Final Fantasy VII and it did the trick. Just like with music, we know that games (especially the ones that took up all your time) take you back in time; to the people you were with, the places you went, the music and the memories. It was often the main talking point between my friends and myself at school once it was released in England and we could get our hands on it. I remember my friends from back then and it’s interesting to see what they are up to now and how also, although we may have not realized it at the time, how we have grown in to fairly similar people. My very best friend from back then moved away mid-way through secondary school due to his dad’s career, we made an effort to stay in contact but distant can easily move people apart and he seems to have pretty much disappeared off the face of the planet. Even worse, the guy had a common name so it wasn’t even possible to internet stalk the guy lol.
Another very good friend from back then came from a musical family and after finishing at university has gone on to form his own successful folk duo Gilmore&Roberts. Fair play to the guy, they’re really good and tour really often. They are definitely worth checking out online or worth a visit at a show. I have a friend, that I used to hang around with at college, who is now a regular linesman in the Premier League. I turned the TV on one night to find a European game involving Real Madrid. The first time the flag was raised I get a close up of my old friend from college there! I can remember seeing the stress on the poor guy’s face after making a controversial call at a packed Emirates stadium in a crucial game with the crowd roaring at him. He literally looked as if he had stopped breathing. You need a real thick skin for that job!
I have one friend that started from scratch and runs his own successful coaching business for kids in the community and another happily set for life with his military career. The vast majority of my friends seem to be happily settled now. The point I’m trying to make I guess is, that even when times are rough you can always take inspiration from your old friends. Even if they are not around anymore and you never see them, it doesn’t really matter, people are busy and have their own lives to lead. It doesn’t have to stop there of course, we should take inspiration from anyone we admire. It just helps a little more when they were the people you grew up with and you came from a place were you were all equals. You can easily use it as drive and motivation to re-find yourself if you get lost.
I hear now that the Final Fantasy VII re-make is all confirmed and finalized. I’m sure playing that will take many people back in time too. For me and others though it can be nice to look upon it as also a new beginning. It’s time to get my head down and get on with things.