Many, many things have happened in the last little while. I can’t say much about today, because on the whole, it was quite average. We watched an episode of the Andy Griffith Show in Parenting class, but other than that, it was pretty normal. I was going to blog about a conversation that Melissa, Meagan, and I had on the bus after school today. But then Meagan said, “Yeah, you’ll probably go home and blog this or something.” And then I lost all interest in blogging it, just because she said that. But then, Melissa said, “Well, but now he probably won’t blog it just because you said that.” So then I got to thinking that maybe I would blog it, just because Melissa said that I wouldn’t. Then I thought, “Well, if I blog it, though, then Meagan will think she’s right. And if I don’t, then Melissa will think she’s right.” Then I just gave up all hope and stopped thinking, because my head hurt. So I suppose this is the best compromise I could come up with – I mentioned it in my blog, but I didn’t blog about the actual conversation, so neither of them are right. Besides, I really don’t remember what the conversation was anyways.
Last night was a little bit interesting. I told Angelie about what I was writing about yesterday, and she sympathized with me, so we got into a conversation that spun off of that topic. She told me a few things that really took a lot of weight off my back, which I’m not going to mention (so don’t start asking me about it) except to say that it was really reassuring and pretty much changes an entire situation around. I guess that gets me to the topic I was planning on writing about today: my friends.
Yesterday I went off on a tangent talking about nosy people and how they need to stay out of my business except for what I feel alright to share with them about. At the end, though, I tried to stress that, although this whole business makes me feel quite awkward and annoyed, it’s nothing to ruin a friendship over. I have plenty of nosy friends, but I still love them all. In fact, I got to thinking about this last night. Consider a hypothetical situation for a second. I had a dream a few days back where I got kidnapped and taken to some Middle Eastern country and tortured, then left in a jail cell – a small concrete room with only the bare necessities given to me. Maybe you’re wondering where I’m going with this, but bear with me. Put yourself in this situation for a second. You’ve been kidnapped in the night, and you have no idea why you’re over there. All you know is that you’re being beaten and tortured, and you don’t know whether you’ll ever get out. Then you’re left in a jail cell with nothing to occupy your time except your thoughts. What would you think about?
For me, I know I would definitely be discouraged. Here you are, left half-dead, and you don’t have any prospect of ever getting out. My thoughts would drift toward depression. But even more than that, I’d miss my friends and my family. This thing would happen with no warning, and who knows who you just got in an argument with the night before? Then you’re taken away, and you’ll never see that person again to make things right. If that’s not gut-wrenching, I don’t know what is. I love my friends dearly, and I would miss them for the world if anything ever happened to them or if I could never see them again. I’ve developed some great friendships with some amazing people over the years, and I honestly don’t know if I’d be alive today if it weren’t for some of them. They’ve encouraged me during my hard times, and I’ve done the same during their hard times. It may be hard to see from a guy who jokes around constantly, but I’m more observant than people think, and I honestly know that I’ve really helped some people out during their hard times. That’s not an issue of pride in something I’ve done, but rather satisfaction in the fact that they’ve been helped, and I’ve had some small part in it.
I know I’m overly critical. I’ve worked hard to fix this problem. I’m fully aware of it, and I struggle with it constantly, every day of my life. I enjoy some good fun, but when I know I’ve hurt someone when it wasn’t intentional, it really rips me up inside. I know that sometimes I’d do it intentionally, but I’ve gotten rid of my grudges. I have completely wiped them from my system, and I can truly say with you readers as my witnesses that I no longer hate anyone. I have forgiven people who have bruised me in the past and wiped that slate clean, and I can say that it certainly feels good. That doesn’t mean that I still don’t struggle to keep from forming new grudges, but I’m working on that. The truth is that I hold my friendships dear to my heart – I know it sounds sappy, but it’s the honest truth. I don’t know what I’d do without them.
I thought about naming some names here, but I’m not sure whether I want to do that considering that I might leave someone out. I think I will, though, just because I’d rather take up too many pages describing my awesome friends rather than too few. First up will have to be my cousins, Jordan and Bethany. I’ve known them both my entire life, and since they’re on either side of me in age, we’ve been pretty close for a long time. Jordan’s an awesome person, and we’ve done so much stuff together, I don’t think I could list it out here without my computer running out of memory. We used to sleep over at each others’ houses or go to each others’ houses after church on Sundays when we were allowed. We’d play on his Nintendo64 or on my computer, or perhaps go outside and play baseball or catch or frisbee or football or anything else we can think of. We’ve played golf up and down the stairs in my house (with a squishy ball, though, don’t worry) and, more recently, played our guitars together. I love hanging out with him. He’s a great guy, and I certainly know why Angelie’s nuts about him (more on her later).
Bethany, my other cousin who’s a year older than me, is definitely a great person as well. I haven’t gotten along with her for as long as with Jordan, because I used to think she was a brat and she thought the same about me. But once we got over that, we’ve shared some awesome times together. We hang around mostly at school, and sometimes outside of school. It’s fun being around her, because sometimes she’ll just get the strangest ideas. Sometimes it’s a little awkward, but she means it all in good fun, and I know it. She calls me honeybuns and sticks her arm around me, and I give her a weird look because, well, she’s my cousin. Of course, it’s just a joke, so I really could care less if she does it. She’s a great person, and I know that the only reason she’s still single right now is because most guys are just too stupid to see how much of a great catch she is.
Lana comes up next on my list of friends. We’ve gone to school with each other since kindergarten, and although at one point we had “cooties” and didn’t talk much, once we got into high school, we started talking a lot more. I must admit that part of the reason I talked with her was because she was trying to help me with Steph, but I wasn’t just using her – it was just an added benefit. I also must admit that at one point I just got so frustrated with her that I didn’t talk to her on MSN for a long time. That was a mistake on my part, because she really has some valuable insights on life that she’s shared with me since. That was one of the grudges I mentioned that I had to get rid of. She would ask me questions that I didn’t want to answer, and I let that get in the way of our friendship, but I decided that it was horrible of me to do that. It took me a while to realize that, but we’ve been great friends ever since. She’s shown me sides of the world that I’ve never thought of – sides of a situation that I’d never think of looking at. It’s been great, and I’ve seen her really mature in the past year or two – not to say that she hasn’t matured since kindergarten, that is.
Up next comes Stephanie. I’m really not sure quite what to say here. If you wanted one word that describes her, it would be “enigma.” And if you don’t know what that word means, look it up in the dictionary and you’ll likely find a picture of her. There are honestly so many sides to this girl, and at one point I found that intriguing. In grade 10, I had a crush on her or whatever you want to call it, and tried (unsuccessfully) to get her to feel the same way about me. She shot me down, and it hurt, but I’ve learned a lot from her since. She’s really an awesome person who has been there for me when I’ve needed it, and I’m really sorry that I ever tried to get her to like me, because it set back a friendship that could have been even better. She’s a great encouragement, and some days when I was depressed or just plain in a bad mood, she’d come over and give me a big hug to get me right back on my feet. Her instinct for picking out people that need help just amazes me. It’s been an awesome three years that I’ve spent getting to know her, and she’s definitely right up there on my list of friends (although contrary to popular belief, I don’t “rate” my friends. Let’s just say, if I had a list of friends, she’d be near the top).
Jonathan is another person that I just have to mention. He’s really been an inspiration to me. Through him I’ve learned just what it means to have a heart for God, and if that isn’t a good reputation to have, I really don’t know what is. I can look at him and know that he’ll be doing the right thing in any given situation. He knows what he believes, and he’s passionate about it. He’s the one that would sit down before a group project and say, “Hey, let’s pray before we begin,” when I was ready to just get right into it. I used to think he was just a goody-goody and that made me angry, but the more I’ve gotten to know him, the more I realize that he’s more interested in just living the way God wants him to live. He never pushes it on anyone else, and he’s made God’s desires for his life his own. We hung out in the younger grades, but he wasn’t like he is now. He’s really matured, especially since his trip to Slovakia. I’ve seen the changes in him, and I know that God’s got great things in store for him – not to say that He doesn’t have them in store for anyone else I’ve mentioned, but because to me, Jon really characterizes the aspects of a person who’s just on fire for Christ.
Angelie is another person I’d like to mention. I haven’t known her for as long as any of the others, but we’ve really developed an awesome friendship. She used to be “the girl that’s obsessed with Jordan,” but now she’s so much more than that to me. Her and I have had long talks on MSN about deep stuff and stupid stuff alike, and we’ve gotten to know each other quite well. She’s caring and compassionate, and despite what she might say, I quite admire her patience. She probably doesn’t see herself as a patient person, but I can definitely see that in her life. She’s got a heart for God, and in just the short time I’ve known her well, I’ve seen God use her in great ways and mature her. We’ve both helped each other out when we’ve struggled with stuff, and I can only hope that I’ve had as much of an impact on her as she’s had on me. I consider her a great friend of mine.
I could continue on and on like this for each one of my friends, but I really just don’t have time enough to do that. On top of those I’ve mentioned, I’d like to also highlight people like Meagan, Kristy, Melissa, Zac, and Bethany, whom I maybe don’t know as well, but whom I still love dearly (not in “that way,” but jeez, you know what I mean). I’ve learned things even from them, though I’ve only known them well for perhaps a year or two. Then there are the friends of years gone by, who I don’t really have the opportunity to talk to as much anymore. Names like Vince, Kayla, and Kim come to mind. Though I don’t necessarily talk to them as much as I once did for various reasons, they still have had an impact on my life, and they’re all great people. On top of that, let me point out one more category of friends: the ones in the making. These people, like Kristen, Michelle, Jake, Josh, Zeth, Jeff, and Erica are people who I’ve met in the past little while (since I started going to Central’s youth group), and who are really great people. Again, I could even tell of things I’ve learned from them, though I’ve only known them for a few short months. It’s really amazing to think about all the influences I’ve had in my life that have brought me to become who I am today, and I hope that I’ve had the same effect on all of them.
So there you go – a long-winded post on my friends. They’re all amazing, and I love them all, tall or short, young or old, married, single, widowed, or divorced (although I think they all fall into the “single” category). This really sounds like a sappy post, but a person with no love for others is not much of a person. I’m human, and I want everyone to know that I’m not just a person who sits there and cracks jokes every once in a while at others’ expense. I learn so much from these people, and that puts them in my good books. If I’ve forgotten anyone here, I’m truly sorry, but you just slipped out of my mind. I do that; I’m pretty forgetful. Don’t take it personally. I can honestly say that I don’t hate anyone, so chances are that you’re in my good books as well. So, I’d like to officially and unofficially say to all of you: Thank you so much, guys. You’re all amazing. Keep growing and becoming better people, because we’ve all got room for improvement. Thank you for the impact you’ve had in my life – don’t ever take that lightly.
Well, I should probably end off this entry, since a tear has come to my eye (well, not really, but I’d like to make this as emotional as possible, so bear with me). That was something that needed to be said, since it’s been one of the many things that has been on my mind lately. I’ve got things to sort out in my head, but that’s just something that I needed to get off my chest, or else I’d feel like I was robbing them of their rightful praise. It’s taken me just over an hour to write this, and I sure would have to say it was time well spent. But now I’d like to get on with other things in my life, such as eating supper. So until tomorrow, so long.