We all go through life being exposed to different people and things. Through the years, people come and people go; some just vanish, some find solace in other things, and some die off. Then there are the ones who seem to make an impact within our lives, no matter how long or how short they are there.
Every so often, someone comes into our lives and they seem to have a genuine interest in you and your life. They see the many sides of you; the fun, the happiness, the sadness, the anger, and the hurt. They always seem to be there no matter what the weather is like in your world. When others have abandoned you for "sunny skies," they are the ones who stay with you in the rain, and weather the storm with you until it passes. They think of you and your hurt, and try to bring sunshine into your dark world. They expose you to new things that you might possibly enjoy. If you're hiding in your shell, they are the ones who won't leave until you promise to go with them, and they are there to gently help you out of it. They take you to concerts, movies, great restaurants, introduce you to new people, and take you on camping trips. They open your mind and show you a new perspective on life, or at least the ability to appreciate it. When someone breaks your heart or you end a relationship, they are there to help you grieve and get on with your life.
I truly treasure these people, and I hope that they never forget that. We may part ways over time, but I always remember the good times and the times that you were there for me. This in and of itself is truly a treasure that no price can be put upon. I am eternally grateful and these thoughts will be forever etched upon my mind.
Yes, I am eternally grateful to all those who have tried to bring a little sunshine into my life. But I do see something else; I was selfish. When these people were trying to reach out to me, all I really could think of was myself. When the chips were down for them, I did sympathize, but I do feel that I could have been more supportive to them, and I don't mean in a monetary manner. For instance, a friend invites me to a party; I agree to show up, and the last minute I decide not to go. They are expecting me to show up and be there for them; instead, I'm thinking only of myself and the reasons that I don't want to go to the party (someone will be there that I don't like, or I will play horseshoes terribly, or I'll feel like a complete loser compared to everyone else.) I won't bother to think about my friend, who is expecting me to show up and is really looking forward to it. In the end, I disappoint my friend and myself as well. I realize later what I have done and feel intense regret. How selfish of me. For this, I apologize wholeheartedly and sincerely hope that you can forgive me. I am sorry for not taking your feelings into account and what impact my selfishness has had on you. I owe this to my family as well, especially my aunt, uncle, sister, and of course my father. I hope that you can find it in your hearts to forgive me.
As you notice, I seem to put friends first before family. When I was growing up, I never allowed myself to be part of the family; I always wanted to be alone and away from everyone else. The very thought of family things repulsed me. I did my best to keep away from them, even during vacations. I always felt different than them, and they realized this. I took alot of ribbing and humiliation from my step-siblings as well. This perpetuated my desire to be isolated and alone. I found solace in having friends. I found out that I could "come out from under that rock" and do things that are new and excitiing. I could be myself, and do things I never thought possible.
If it wasn't for them, I surely think that I would have committed suicide in my teenage years. The thought did cross my mind on more than one occasion. When I would express this to my family, sometimes I would hear "some days we wish that you were dead, Danny." That really, really hurt. In those trying times, I remember that quite a bit. It was always and option - a way out.
So Who's Important?
Since I do have family issues that I need to address at this time, I still tend to put my friends first. I seemed to get more sympathy, understand, and encouragement from them than my family. They realized when my chips were down, and did everything they could to help me out.
A very vivid memory that I have occurred only a few years ago. I was truly down on my luck and could think of nothing but ending my life. I decided that I was going to do it while riding my motorcycle. I hadn't truly thought out a plan, just to maybe hit a tree or something. I got on the bike, and started it up. I sat there for a few minutes, revving the engine and thinking. Something made me reach for my phone and call a good friend. He answered and I broke down in tears, telling him what was going on. I told him that I was ready to commite suicide and that I felt I had nowhere to turn. He told me to turn off the motorcycle, don't go anywhere, and that he'd be there as soon as he could. I did exactly that, and in about 30 minutes, he showed up and we ended up going for a ride and talking. I don't remember exactly what we talked about, but the end result was every therapeutic. I remember feeling much better than I had to begin with. He's been there for me several times and I will always be grateful for that. I hope that someday I can properly repay him in kindness as well as monetarily. Thanks, man. I owe you the world several times over. I truly believe that I don't deserve someone as kind as you in my life. You will never be forgotten.
And I'd Like to Thank...
Of course, there are many others as well. For sake of brevity, I don't want to turn it into a speech for winning an academy award! I do feel selish in a way about that, but the sentiment is really heartfelt for all of them. They have told me that I have in fact been there for them and that it wasn't about money or things. Just the fact that I was present for them in a time of need seemed to be enough. I still have a hard time accepting this, due to my desire to keep upping my standards. Once again, how selfish of me. I just have to let it be.
A great example of someone special entering someone's life is in the movie "Garden State." The main character comes home for his mother's funeral and pretty much accidentally meets a girl who over the course of four days changes his life. I'm not going to spoil the ending for you if you haven't seen it yet, but I can tell you this: he ends up making probably the best choice in his life. I was truly happy for him in the end. To me, this movie said one thing; Something (or someone) special may come into our lives; it presents an opportunity that we can take or leave. This may be so special that it touches your heart and makes you feel feelings that you've never felt before, or causes you to experience life in a new and exciting way. If we let this special someone go, we may have missed out on possibly the best thing to walk into our lives. As Budgie says (in a song,) "You're the Best Thing Since Powdered Milk."
The Lesson Learned
Let's remember the ones who came into our lives and touched our hearts. This may be a girlfriend, boyfriend, or just a special friend of either sex. Let's show them the gratitude that they deserve, and think of them and what's going on in their world. Let's reach out to them and let them know that we care the world for them. This person may not be in our lives forever, but for the time that they are, we will truly appreciate, trust, enjoy,learn, and most importantly, grow through our lives. It's true; money doesn't buy happiness, but friendship (or more) surely can.
Hide In Your Shell
by Supertramp - From The Album Crime of The Century (1974)
Hide in your shell cos the world is out to bleed you for a ride
What will you gain making your life a little longer?
Heaven or hell, was the journey cold that gave your eyes of steel?
Shelter behind painting your mind and playing joker
Too frightening to listen to a stranger
Too beautiful to put your pride in danger
You’re waiting for someone to understand you
But you’ve got demons in your closet
And you’re screaming out to stop it
Saying life’s begun to cheat you
Friends are out to beat you
Grab on to what you scramble for
Don’t let the tears linger on inside now
Cos it’s sure time you gained control
If I can help you, if I can help you
If I can help you, just let me know
Well, let me show you the nearest signpost
To get your heartback and on the road
If I can help you, if I can help you
If I can help you, just let me know.
All through the night as you like awake and hold yourself so tight
What do you need, a second-hand-movie-star to tend you?
I as a boy, I believed the saying the cure for pain was love
How would it be if you could see the world through my eyes?
Too frightening- the fire’s getting colder
Too beautiful- to think you’re getting older
You’re looking for someone to give an answer.
But what you see is just an illusion
You’re surrounded by confusion
Saying life’s begun to cheat you
Friends are out to beat you
Grab on to what you can scramble for
Don’t let teh tears...
... just let me know
I wanna know...
I wanna know you...
Well let me know you
I wanna feel you
I wanna touch you
Please let me near you
Can you hear what I’m saying?
Well I’m hoping, I’m dreamin’, I’m prayin’
I know what you’re thinkin’
See what you’re seein’
Never ever let yourself go
Hold yourself down, hold yourself down
Why d’ya hold yourself down?
Why don’t you listen, you can
There’s a place I know the way to
A place there is need to feel you
Feel that you’re alone
I know exactly what you’re feelin’
Cos all your troubles are whithin you
Please begin to see that I’m just bleeding to
Love me, love you
Loving is the way to
Help me, help you
- why must we be so cool, oh so cool,?
Oh, we’re such damn fools...