Thank You, Friends

This post is a thank you to my friends who are always honest with me, to my friends that don’t sugar coat things or ask me to “have faith” or say things like “things will work out”. These friends encourage me to take action and give me actionable steps to get me towards the life I want, even if it means that I will have a painful period ahead.

When I am going through a rough time, these are the friends I turn to. They will tell me the truth, which is the most valuable things. There have been times in my life when I was unhappy with my life and they provided wisdom and guidance. If I was unhappy with my finances they pointed out that I didn’t really need a Playstation, a smartphone, or a car. If I embraced minimalism, even for just a little while, I could sell the things I don’t need and lower my bills to the point where I am stable. Then, if I desired, I could reacquire things (hopefully used to be fiscally responsible) that I wanted. For me, that desire never came though.

These are the friends that I could talk to about my relationship and they would be frank and honest. They tell me when the person I’m engaged to isn’t treating me right, they point out the things that I was blind to because I was too close to the situation. They also pointed out when the person I was dating wasn’t long term compatible, no matter how much we loved each other that love wasn’t enough. If we wanted different things out of life we needed to separate and be true to ourselves, and sooner rather than later.

These friends will hear me when I say what I want to experience and point out flaws in my plans or places to improve. When I wanted to get more involved in kink and open relationships, when I wanted casual sex, they pointed out that I needed to be more social and that I needed to take my health seriously. I was very unhealthy at the time and as I took care of myself I found like-minded people to engage in bedroom activities with.

It is even better when they approach me without prompt. When they see something in my life that I could improve… my finances, my relationships, my mind, my body… and say something before I come to them. They help head problems off at the pass and keep me on the right track.

Inevitably, because of this honesty, they are the ones I trust when they give me encouragement. I’ve heard “you should write a book” dozens of times while on the bike ride, but that means nothing… those people rarely know me or what I want. But when one of these friends tell me that they love my writing and wish I blogged more or wrote a book, I listen. They have earned relationship capital and I know they wouldn’t say that without believing it.

We all need these people in our lives, the ones that will give it to us straight. The ones that realize a friendship without the ability to be completely honest with someone isn’t really a friendship, it is an acquaintance. If a friendship dies because one person is honest, then that friendship wasn’t authentic.

These people are our ka-tet, siblings, soulmates, true friends. I hope that there are others who I can give in this way that I have received. I want to be someone who people know will speak the truth without fluff. We have so much power in this world and we minimize our own strength if we wait for a white knight to save us or expect the universe to just fall into place. Action is what improves our lives, stagnation is death. We must work with what we have to make our lives better and forget the past that got us where we are… and hopefully we have a few true friends by our side to steer us straight.

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Saying Good Bye

To be honest, I thought someday I would get used to it. You think after all the transitions in my life… Oregon to military, military to college, college to Washington DC, Washington DC to Los Angeles… I would get used to saying good bye to new friends. It still isn’t fucking easier. Maybe it isn’t supposed to be. Maybe the difficulty, the held back tears, the moments of second-guessing all are a testament to the love I’ve found and the bonds I’ve formed. Maybe it is a good thing that it is hard… it still sucks though. 

Yesterday I want to a Game of Thrones party at my best friend’s house. It was the last opportunity to say good bye to a lot of the friends I have made while in Los Angeles. And the good byes aren’t over, this weekend at Lucidity I will say good bye to another group of beautiful souls who have helped me learn to love myself and others. These are people who I have come to look forward to seeing, people I meet with a warm embrace, people that I can open up to (even though some of them would rather me not). I wish I would have spent more time with them, made them more of a priority, and tried to build a stronger friendship and forge more memories. But alas, what’s done is done. There are no more days for new memories in LA, at least not for a while.

While it hurts to leave these people, I am not sad about the future. Because I have been through this before I know that many of these friends will be in my life forever. Hell, my best friend and I have known each other almost 25 years and have only lived in the same city for about 10 total. I hold on to people who mean something to me, thanks to Facebook and the internet that is easier than ever but it is more than convenience, it is in my nature. I may not talk to them much (hell, I don’t talk to them much now) but they are always in my heart and they always pop into my head at the best times… “Oh man, I have to call Josh, he has got to hear about this”, “Hey, Dagny would love that”, “Oh Blayne… if only you could mow down on these cheesesticks with me”, “Damn, where’s James when I need him?”, “I wonder what Emmett would think of that?”… I wish I contacted them more than I do. In a very real way they are part of my family and when thinking of them I am home.

Home isn’t geography for me. It is where I can be unapologetically me. It is where honesty, love, and peace prevail above politics, social status, or religion. And the people I say good bye to as I start the next chapter of my life will always be my family and home. I know that if I need them they will be there. I love them and will miss them… but I know that any physical separation means nothing when our minds and spirits are connected. They are my ka-tet and that is a bond that doesn’t break, no matter how far I roam.