Some of the things I've been learning lately were actually known to me a long time ago, and then forgotten. Like my realisation that the most important source of happiness and understanding is the connections you make to other people. I knew that when I was 17. I was at the centre of a group of kids at Tresham College who spent every day together, went boozing together, visited each other's houses...it was like "Dawson's Creek" with less talking, and no creek. At the time I had a dream that we would all be together into old age: weird, smelly old eccentrics in wheelchairs celebrating a lifetime of friendship.
Which didn't happen. And somehow after that whole scene collapsed, I became a loner not only in my social life, but emotionally too: when I found myself in lively social scenes again in the following years the fun never lasted because in my mind I was never really a part of it, and I didn't love or respect my friends enough.
Interesting that when I met L. and T. and turned the last corner in my life, I wound up back where I started.