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In Praise of a Friend

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I recently posted this to my blog. It's about my own best friend, but I think it illustrates the way many of us feel about those we keep close to our hearts. Even if you don't currently feel this way about anyone in your life, a true friend is a tremendous value - one so great I wanted to share it.

On Courtney

Lots of people come in and out of our lives over the years. The ones close to you can the brick and mortar out of which your life is built. I don’t mean that you have no life beyond those people. What I mean is that they have such a profound impact on you that you wouldn’t be the same person without having known them. If you choose wisely, the people in your life will aid you in becoming all that you should be. Choosing unwisely can have the opposite effect. The best and most important choice I ever made was becoming friends with Courtney.

It’s been a decade, and not much remains of the person I was when we first met. All of the changes have been in the right direction. I can’t even begin to imagine where I’d be without having known her. I don’t think I even care to try; that road was the road home, somewhere I’d never been.

She has enriched my life in so many ways I can’t even begin to list them all here. I doubt I’ve even identified them all myself. The point is that I recognize that she has enriched my life. And I’m grateful.

We don’t always agree. I don’t always approve of her actions. And I rarely understand her reasoning or believe any reasoning has occurred at all. These things are irrelevant when viewed against the backdrop of energy that fills any room when she’s present.

It was from her that I learned life is to be enjoyed, not lamented. She leads by example. It was she who taught me the importance of value, although it was some years before I was able to identify the lesson. The intensity of her values is unparalleled – from her almost psychotic obsession with the color pink, to the frenzy of enjoyment she finds in music, to the unique style her brother calls “MTV chic,” to her entrepreneurial spirit, to her unbridled libido, which I’ve only heard of second-hand. All signs point to one thing – she is the rarest of creatures: A person in love with her own life. In today’s world, a person’s own happiness is supposed to take a back seat to whatever is best for everyone as a whole. She thrives in spite of this perversion, an accomplishment that is nothing short of heroic. In regard to what this has meant to me, the only thing I can tell her is: I learned it from watching you.

I’ll be leaving in a couple of months, but it’ll be a comfort to know that no matter where I am, I have a Friend. That’s not a label I hand out indiscriminately, particularly with the capital “F.” It means something: the world.

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