I can’t tell you the last time a commercial on TV, or an advertisement on the internet, left me saying to myself, “Wow, I need what they’re selling.” I don’t know if I’ve ever thought that.
Sure, maybe the food commercials have me licking my lips, while the steamy and succulent images of cheesy pizza, or hamburgers with perfect posture, infiltrate my subconscious, but I’d like to think that I don’t need a food commercial to order these items.
I see commercials with people in generic clothing, laughing and smiling at the products they’re using, and I know it’s supposed to trick me into buying what they’re selling. I know they want me to believe I will be as happy as the people in the commercial.
I don’t buy it. Literally and figuratively.
The other night, I was watching a hockey game and the commentator said, “This game is available in Virtual Reality.” And I found myself asking, “Why?” Why am I going to buy one of those Virtual Reality headsets to watch a hockey game that I can see just fine without?
It didn’t make sense to me.
Sell, sell, sell -> Material items, material items, material items -> Happy, happy, happy.
That is the world today. I understand it. But I also think it’s sad.
University changed my life in so many ways, and I’m not sorry for continuously mentioning it in my blog posts.
My post-secondary experience taught me that life is, truly, just about time and people. Everything else is a result of those two things. How we spend our time, and who we spend it with, is all that matters.
I didn’t realize that until my fourth year. That year, I vowed that I would say “yes” to my friends as much as I could, whenever they suggested we hang out, or go to McDonald’s at 2AM the night before an exam.
Again, with fries.
And even then, when I realized how important it was to me to maximize my minutes with people who meant so much to me, it wasn’t enough time. There were still things I never did. Time ran out.
They say, “Time flies when you’re having fun.”
I never knew what that meant, exactly. I thought the saying should’ve been changed to, “Time flies when you forget to blink, while playing video games.”
Nowadays, I’d argue that time flies even when you’re not having fun.
There are some moments where I find myself wishing that I could just press a pause button because things always end before I’m ready for them to end. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has felt that way.
But I can’t just press a button.
The moments I want to remain in forever are anchored by memories.
The best days of my life – I don’t know what they are, but I know they all include other people, and laughs, and smiles.
They don’t include me getting a sports jersey for Christmas, or playing a video game for three hours after school, on a random Tuesday, in 2001. The best days involve shared happiness.
This is why, I think, commercials don’t have an affect on me. They try to convince me that their product is something I need, but really all I need is time and people.
I recently reunited with a great friend who I hadn’t seen in a really long time. We had drifted apart during a time when we were both pushing people away. Text messages became awkward. It just wasn’t the same.
Yet in the back of my mind I had all these great memories, and I knew that the friendship was still there, somewhere.
And as soon as we saw each other and started talking, it felt like no time had passed. We were right back in our rhythm, our ways, and our jokes about the stupidest things.
Example of a “stupid thing”: I created a new yoga position called “sleeping dog”. It was hilarious. Don’t ask questions.
It just felt so good, and it was something I had missed.
Our friendship was momentarily misplaced and I regret letting that happen.
It always feels like there is all the time in the world, but there isn’t. And it always feels like there are billions of people in the world – and there are – but there are only a handful of people who you can be so comfortable around.
You can’t replace people and you can’t replace time.
The best pizza wasn’t made in five minutes. And neither are friendships.
The world can’t just be about money, fancy clothes, trends, jobs, material items, hashtags, the latest gossip, or using our thumb to scroll on a screen.
Sure, all of those things may bring us joy and put a smile on our face.
But that being said, when I die – hopefully after I reach 100 – none of those things I just listed will matter. What will matter is the people who were in my life and the time I spent making memories with them.
Tell me I’m wrong.
Happiness is greater when we get to share it with others. That’s what I think, anyway.
We will always have time. We will always have people. Don’t let them get misplaced.
Not even momentarily.