So as luck would have it, I am pretty unlucky when it comes to things like my wallet being stolen, never winning anything, being accident-prone, my house being broken into, my toes stubbing everything and anything when they are cold, and many other misadventures such as those (which is not a good thing since I am pretty adventurous and will do just about anything for the sake of fun)... but the one area of life that I am extremely lucky in is my personal life. I like to think that it is because I have shit for luck when it comes to everyday dealings. My personal life is pretty great to be honest. I have some of the most astonishing friends on this planet that have my back and that I am going to grow old with and travel the country in an RV for a year or two just because it sounds fun to me. We are going to dye our gray hair blue, our gray pubes blue, and try our best to sleep with Juan, our pool boy... we are also going to make him wear degrading things such as elephant thongs as he serves us fresh mint Mimosa's in our wheel chairs.... it's just how we roll. We are going to live out of an RV and bike the craziest trails by day, and see the Milky Way by night from the top of our RV parked in the desert. These are my dreams and they support them, for the most part. Still working on that RV dream.
I was just reading my great friend Jennifer's blog, if you haven't read it or don't know her... check it out here, there is some good stuff in there: http://whereintheworldisjdon.wordpress.com/author/whereintheworldisjdon/
As I was reading her blog it totally cheered me up because I was in a pisser of a mood about the current state of one of my friendships, one that I value very much. Jennifer said in her blog that life is too short to let things get in the way and if there is a problem tell the person so they can work it out or move on because maybe they are not someone you need in your life. This bit of advice is genius. Many of us seem to spend so much time working on the drama that is part of many of our relationships rather than having a supportive healthy relationship with the people in our lives who deserve our attention, our praise, our support, and most importantly our time. We spend time on people who don't really deserve our time when we have great people in our lives who deserve more of our time. So reading Jennifer's blog, it totally made me start to think about the friendships in my life and made me start to think about what is important to me, who is important to me, and quality or quantity? Definitely quality.
I went through an especially bad funk of spending time with someone who didn't really measure up in my standards as someone who should have gotten that much of my time about a year ago, it was a rough period for me in life. To be perfectly honest, it is something that it has taken me many months to get over and to move on from. It was an emotionally draining relationship that did not come easily and was plagued with doubts, insecurities, and resentment... but I am a very determined person when I have set my mind to something, especially with the things and the people I want to share my life with. I put myself into a bad situation knowingly and happily because I saw value in this person that as it turns out was a figment of my imagination. I was giving credit to this person's character when really it deserved none because none of this person's actions were genuine. The tiniest, most minuscule acts this person would do, I would praise as a sign that our friendship was going to work and this person was meant to be around when in reality this person was nicer to strangers and people they didn't like than they were to me. I turned into someone that I could hardly recognize. I was not myself and when this friendship finally came to an end even though I was devastated by the loss of this person, I was also immensely relieved. I was relieved that I would no longer have to go through life feeling the way that person made me feel, I was relieved that I was no longer attached to my phone like it was my only way of breathing, and mostly I was relieved that I no longer had to look for something in a person that wasn't actually there. I no longer had to defend a person's actions that really had no defense. I no longer had to pretend that I don't blow up the toilet when I take a shit and that my farts don't smell like shit when they come out. It was hard to recognize all of this 5 or 6 months ago when this friendship ended, but luckily for me I have the insight to see it for what it was now. Thanks to a few people with more wisdom than I could ever possibly hope to possess, I was able to pull my head out of my ass and come out of it wiser and less willing to deal with the shit people throw at me. Damn monkeys throwing their shit at everyone. I have gained an appreciation for a certain person in my life who has showed me kindness, unconditional love, support, patience, and truly how great one human being can be. With his support I feel like I can accomplish anything, I can rule the world with him by my side because I know that if I fall on my ass, he will be there to give me a hand to get back up and will help push me back out the door on my quest at world domination no matter how many times I fail and go somersaulting off a mountainside in my journey. To quote the late, great Janis Joplin "All you gotta do is be a good man one time to one woman." He has done his duty 10,000 times over and I have no right to ever ask anything from him ever again.
The point of this story is that our friendships should be things that bring us great joy, we should look forward to seeing these people, we should look forward to spending time with them, sharing our greatest victories, defeats, and dreams with them. We should be able to be who we are around them and most importantly we should trust them. You can not have a friendship without trust, it just isn't possible. Several months ago, maybe even a year ago at this point... my great friend Meaghan and I took a rock climbing class. As we discovered rock climbing requires complete trust in your climbing partner and their abilities to save your ass if you slip and fall. There were times when you were 30+ feet in the air with nothing holding you there but your grip on the rock wall, one missed step and you would fall if your partner was not paying attention to the ropes. Lucky for me, Meaghan turned out to be a great climbing partner and I look forward to her having her beautiful baby so we can climb together again someday.
Our friendships should be dealt with like climbing partners. Complete trust to save your ass if you need it and to share in your victory when you have scaled a difficult wall and your defeats when you have fallen from an easy climb. Trust that they have your best interest at heart and that you have theirs no matter what. It is a 50/50 relationship that requires give and take to work. Due to the technological advances that have become part of daily life we are quickly becoming self-inflicted recluses. We don't need people around us as much anymore to feel like the social creatures that we are because we are so heavily dependent on technology to give us these same effects and it is turning us all into social retards who don't actually know how to deal with people in real life. I am totally guilty of this, there are many weekends when it takes all of my energy to get out of the house and go socialize with people in real life... and I am ALWAYS thankful that I did once I get out. It is just the initial push I need to get out the door.
We all need to start spending more time on our healthy relationships and less time on friends that drain us emotionally and leave us feeling frustrated, irritated, annoyed, or just plain bored. I am a loyal friend, if I call you my friend, you can bet your ass that I will be right by your side the second you need me, it is just who I am. I will go out of my way to help the ones I care about no matter the cost to myself and I am starting to wonder if it is worth it if the person on the receiving end wouldn't do the same for me? What is loyalty anyway? Is it putting up with the shit that our "friends" and family dole out just because of the label they have as friend or family? Is it a lifetime of crap because you pledged your loyalty to someone who really wouldn't do the same for you?
I am a social butterfly. I get along easily with most people, I can make friends with the most socially awkward person on the planet if I am given enough time. I willingly and happily accept new friends and new people in my life. I trust too easily and I love too quickly, it just happens and I am glad that I am this way. I am glad that I am not a bitter, angry person who is unable to trust and unable to love. I would not have met all the wonderful people in my life if I guarded myself. I would have missed so many opportunities to talk to some of the most interesting people on the planet (like the old man in an Irish pub in Ireland that told me "If you are alive you made it." A philosophical genius when you are drunk off too many Guinness pints and learning Celtic swearwords from Irish locals. Pog mo thoin still rules as the most awesome cuss combo) It is easy to lose faith in humanity, especially when you see so many people acting like greedy, selfish, fools who are more concerned about money than their fellow humans and animals who share this planet... but we must all strive everyday to see the good in people, to be compassionate to animals, to be compassionate to the less fortunate, to spend time with the ones we care about, to work on the friendships that mean something to us, and to let go of the ones that bring us grief and shit on a regular basis. As Jennifer has already said, life is too short. Time is the one thing that we can not get back when it has run out for us, it is finite for all of us. It is our most valuable gift to someone, to spend our time with them... spend that time wisely.