Value Your Friendships

Wow! I’ll tell you what... when you pour your heart and soul out for all the world to see it’s sometimes a shaky feeling. I mean, you never know what you’re going to get back you know?

Will people think you’re crazy? Will they think you’re full of self pity or guilty of blowing your own horn albeit in a more than subtle manner? Or... what?

What I’m finding out is that people just think I’m me. I’ve done some work on personal branding and the answers I always get from folks end up being something along the lines of:

“Jim, Jimbro, Jimbo, Jimmer, (but never James) you’re just a good guy. Go with that.”
I have to admit that sort of frustrated me, until my friend Nate Riggs said: “Why not go with that?”

See your friends will tell you how it is. They will tell you when you have gone too far. They will call b.s. on you when necessary.


They will ask questions and try to help when they don’t understand.

In my last post I said “... I just took the easy road out and figured “Eh, I have a job. That’s good enough,” and a friend who I haven’t even known very long called b.s. on me almost immediately.

She said: “Why did you really stay at the library so long?”

I replied that of course I cared more than that might have conveyed, but in reality the job allowed me to focus on being Dad, i.e. very little if anything to take home with me after work so that was mostly it.

She said: “No. Your job allowed you to do that, but you kept that job because you like helping people...” and she’s right.

I do like helping people. I just never thought of it in those terms.

My job isn’t so much a job then, it’s really about who I am as a person.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think my job defines me, but I do think the core of that job is how I’m defined. Does that make sense?

I feel like I am learning so much right now that my brain is literally like that sponge my high school biology teacher said it was - just soaking it all up.

Almost like starting over at 42, but not really. Because at 42 I bring a lifetime of experience I just didn't see in that kind of light before.

What was it Homer Simpson used to say? “Doh!”

So today, I am grateful for my friends. Grateful for those who will question my thinking and also seek my opinion about things they have going on in their lives.

I am grateful for those friends I can let my hair down with, the ones who laugh at my jokes, even on the umpteenth telling, and tell me how silly and sappy I can be, and that I worry too much about the small stuff sometimes.

I am grateful for those friends who come to me for help and trust that I will hold their confidence, that I will be there just because, well because I know they would be there for me.

I am grateful for those friends who show me patience as I wade through my many projects, and tasks and understand that while my list is long I miss very little, and I especially will not miss them.

I am grateful for those friends who include me in what they’re doing even if it only means a text message that says: “Hey, I’m playing movie trivia with my family. What are your Top 5 movies?”

Finally, I am grateful to all of my friends who come here and read my stuff, wade through my diatribes, and rants, and help me figure it out. Help us all figure things out sometimes.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for helping me down the path.