Sunday, May 15, 2011

Must we really be out with the old to be in with the new?

Who said we have to throw away the old to make space for the new? Whoever said that had a really small apartment with no storage capabilities, and/or really ugly old stuff.

I say we keep the old, and still make way for the new.

Of course I don't mean that for material things: There are few things in life that give me more pleasure than giving away/throwing away old stuff. You know that shirt you used to wear all the time when you were in High School? The one that is too tight or too short today (10 years later), and has a big rip on the side? Yeah, that one, the one you continue to refuse to get rid of, because it has "memories". Well, dude, the memories will remain. Your 10-year-old T-Shirt won't last one more wash. Stop wearing it "on Sundays" or "to work on the car", and don't expect to keep it as a "just-in-case-rag". Throw it away. And what about those jeans? Yeah, no. That rip on your crotch is not sexy - it describes who you are: too lazy or too poor to buy a new pair of jeans. Get rid of them. They, too, by the way, shall not become rags nor "work-on-the-garden" jeans. And those shoes, those shoes you bought with your first paycheck, those shoes that were so awesome and so comfortable, those shoes with the sole filled with holes... yeah, not even a homeless, shoeless guy would accept those. Throw them away! But if you have clothes and shoes that are just out-of-season, that you choose not to wear anymore, that are in good shape, please donate them! There are millions of people all around the world (yes, even in first world nations like Germany) who would be grateful to have a new shirt, even if it came out three spring-collections ago.

In any case, my point (the out-with-the-old-in-with-the-new-thing) has little to do with material stuff; I think we should be able to keep the old intangibles and still be able to bring in the new intangibles.

Like friends.

You see,  my last post (the one previous to this one) was about how much I miss my friends, and how I find them irreplaceable. They are, in fact, irreplaceable. There is only one Canuck in my life, and there will always only be only one Canuck in my life, regardless of how many Canadians I meet (Hey, Canuck, did you know that my cousin and her family live in Canada?!). But I actually got a very impressive bunch of responses to it. Yes, I miss my friends. But that does not mean that I don't have the hability (or the chance!) to make new friends here.

I've had to learn that I don't need to forget my old friends in order to have new friends here. I can have them both. I can appreciate them both. I can have fun with them both. I guess I will have to spend more time with my "new" friends due to geographical reasons, but I will do that with pleasure. I have also learned that I don't have to meet my friends every day for coffee; a simple "hi!" on a Facebook wall will do, or a comment on a Blog entry, or the occassional email updating Life Status. My friends, those who have seen me grow and those who have grown with me, with always be in heart. But my new friends, those who are slowly getting to know me (and to accept me, even though I am an obnoxious over-achiever) and are growing with me now, those will also  earn their places in my heart. Slowly, but surely. One can never be too careful one opening one's heart to strangers, right? But friends are never strangers. They kind of surprise you with simple tokens of appreciation and smiles at the right moment or hugs at unexpected times. Friends know when you need a little bit of sunshine in your life, and they are ready to shine bright for you.

So, here's my toast (at 6:33 of a rainy Kieler afternoon) to the Germans, and the other Ausländer, like me, in Germany, whom I've had the wonderful pleasure to meet. Here's to you, Germans and Ausländer in Germany. May we have a future filled with fun, drinks, music, hopefully some sun, and a million laughs.

Danke, Michael, für die Erinnerung! Alles Gute zum Geburtstag, Amigo!

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