I need to tell you about some friends of mine. Here they are. This picture was taken on May 19, 2014. In fact, it’s the only picture I have of all 5 of us in the same place.
From left to right – Josh, Me, Cat, John and Bryan.
It started with Bryan.
Bryan has been the best friend I’ve ever had. He’s not a lovey dovey type guy like I am. We don’t hug or even shake hands much. But he knows I love him and I know he loves me. I’ve sat next to Bryan every day for 6 years.
Bryan was one of the first people I ever met in Florida. He had a Honda Accord and he played house music way too loud. He and I were hustlers. We worked together in a sales room and we stuck together. He would drive me home from work and we would talk about how to do better. We would eat spicy nuggets from Wendy’s.
Bryan has this confidence about him. It doesn’t come from arrogance or cockiness. To him, being anything other than confident in himself doesn’t register as an option. He’s not trying to be confident, he simply doesn’t know any other way.
I’ve always admired Bryan. I’ve looked up to him more than anyone I’ve never known. I look at him and ask myself “how does he do that?” I have learned from Bryan every single day that he has been by his side.
Next there was Josh.
Bryan introduced me to Josh. Long story short, Bryan and Josh were building a call center and Bryan knew about my interest in web marketing so he asked if I wanted to join in the fun. I walked into the door of their office one day and my life changed in an instant. That was also the day I met Cat and John. They all worked together and they accepted me into their family.
Josh and I have always understood each other. We’ve understood each other in a way that we could never explain. Somehow when he and I would chat, the complexities and the uncertainties of life didn’t seem so confusing.
Josh and I took a trip to California. We hiked Eagle Rock in Topanga. I remember climbing that trail feeling like I had the best fucking friend in the world. I remember feeling so lucky that I finally had found a friend who understood me.
He gave me a picture frame with pictures from many of our adventures. I still have it hanging up in my living room. I look at it every day.
Josh moved to Ohio a few years ago. Tonight, I was laying in a hammock, looking at the stars thinking how much I missed talking to him every day.
Cat came next.
Cat and I were always the first ones in the office. So every morning for years, her and I would drink coffee and chat about life and about what was going on. Cat’s good at everything. I’m not kidding. She’s fucking good at everything she does. It’s really frustrating.
Years ago, the 5 of us took a trip to Vegas. After the funnest night of my life at some pool party, we all rented a mini van and drove across the desert to L.A. Cat was sitting shotgun.
The desert was pitch black but the moon was so bright. It illuminated the blanket of sand in the distance. We had the windows down and Cat spoke out “I really love you guys.” I’ll never forget that moment. It really touched my heart.
Lastly there’s John.
John and Cat are married. I left him for last because I don’t think he liked me much when he first met me. Sometimes I still question whether or not he likes me at all.
I don’t blame him. I’m exactly the kind of person that John would make fun of.
John is special for a few reasons. First and foremost, because he is the single funniest person I have ever met. Hands down, the funniest person ever. My friend is funnier than your friend. He’s the best. He makes me laugh so hard.
Next, because John is a great listener. The art of listening is really lost in people these days. John has no problem sitting in the seat next to you and listening to you talk. He knows how to listen with focus to articulate the meaning behind your words. He doesn’t just listen, he tries to understand. It is a trait that I truly value in him.
He is a great friend and a great person. I am so grateful to have him in my life.
What’s With the Sob Story Tim?
We’re all leaving.
Bryan is moving to Ohio to be closer to Josh to work more closely on their business. Cat and John are road tripping in a giant truck for the next two years while Cat does traveling nursing and John writes freelance.
I am moving to Nashville.
I’m the emotional one in the group. I always have been. At this point, I’ve accepted it. I think about all 5 of us being scattered in different parts of the country and I feel a lot of different things.
I feel happy and grateful that somehow we have all been blessed with our health and with the fortitude to keep fighting. Each one of us has been handed heavy blows over the last few years and we’ve all battled back to the light. I’m proud to know that my friends can get through anything.
But I’m also sad. I’m sad that I won’t sit next to Bryan every day. I’m sad that I won’t have to listen to him play YouTube videos of GTR races and I’m sad that I won’t get to remind him about the GTR that he bought but never drives because it’s always in the shop.
I’m sad that I won’t be able to jump in Cat and John’s pool anymore. We’ve had the best memories in that house.
I’m sad about a lot of things with Josh. I wish I got to see him but I am so happy that he has gotten engaged and that he is living the life he always talked about.
This is one of those moments. One of those defining moments in my life where my past experiences come to a choke point and launch me out the other end like a bottle rocket.
I’ve learned so much from these people. These 4 people, they’ve taught me almost everything I know about myself. They helped me figure out who the fuck I am.
I’ll never forget that. I’ll never be able to repay them. I know I’ll have them in my life until the day I die.
So onward we go. Onto the next chapter. Onto the next adventure. Another mountain to climb and another exploding star.