I'm not a big family person. Now as far as siblings go I totally lucked out with the sister, and that rocks. I have some cool cousins and whatnot, but by nature I don't go to blood first. My family is not defined by DNA.
Take for example Seattle Girl.
She is not from Seattle at all, she just happens to live there now. We became friends through work.
Granted, I have had a lot of jobs and have made a lot of friends that way. (Yes all of you, proof positive)
Each one of my friends are unique and the stories even more so. Seattle Girl started at the mighty bird a month after me. The difference? Oh, let's see...I was a brand new assistant starting in the publishing world with all these weird jobs under my belt, and she was ten years rich in the publishing world having taken a good part of the previous year off to backpack across Europe.
To me at first she seemed pretty distant, but everyone at a senior level was.
Now of course RFW started the job five months later, and did not understand that kind of social striation. She was better at bridging the class lines of the job, inviting our bosses out to our social functions and whatnot. Still Seattle Girl was not always available to hang, be it from her own social obligations or her fear of our low level worker inappropriate behavior.
Over time I worked harder, and got promoted. Over time I would just stop by Seattle Girl's office to talk. Not just because I enjoyed it, but because I thought she was cool and stuff and wanted to help her de-stress from her job. I knew I could do her that much, if nothing else.
I sound so nice, but often I stopped by to talk because she is really fun to talk to in general. She is neat and stuff. Anyhoo, back to the story.
Then over time once and a while she would stop by my office to talk. It wasn’t just me reaching out, to help her; it was her reaching out and then also opening up in a reciprocal fashion. We were able to become friends when we realized that work would never be an issue. I would never do anything with work that would put our friendship in any jeopardy.
Looking back now I realize how hard this must have been for her. I mean, I was a subordinate, her getting too close could be so much trouble, what if I was a lazy ass or just screwed up, or hell just didn't work very hard. Luckily for me I would never put my friend in a bad position. Never would I go home early if I thought she would have to pick up where I left off. In general I am a workaholic and care too much about what I do, but if I even thought for a moment that I was putting a friend out because I didn't do enough? No way.
Because we were friends I would work even harder to make sure that there was no way that I was taking advantage professionally of our friendship, and was working to prove that more even than I was working to prove I was a good worker. Being friends with her made me a better employee and made me a million times better of a worker. Because I could never let work get in the way of a friendship, work is easy and good friends are rare.
Best part - I totally won in that deal. Seattle Girl is an amazing person. She is incredibly smart, witty, and selfless. Oh, and tough and strong and cool too.
This is where I am so lucky. Seattle Girl is one of those people that I find amazing and inspirational. She is the kind of girl who can hang and chill in a large group of people, keeping everyone at ease, or take any one individual person and make them feel like the most important person in the world. All of this and think nothing of it. She is a master at making other people like themselves, and if there were more people out here like her world peace would be a graspable concept instead of a pipe dream.
Most amazingly she is one of the most empathetic people I have ever known. She really cares, really looks into other people’s lives, and tries to understand their experiences. This is an absolutely amazing ability for any person who has lived in NYC for over five years. And she had not lost a bit, had it down pat. She is the kind of person who will immediately discount her own pain in favor of another’s.
There are a million tiny particles that bind us together as friends that I cannot define. All I know is no matter what time or distance comes between us I am sure that we are friends and that is something that is constant. This is someone who I know and trust.
That is not something I do lightly.
Thus no matter what time or distance may pass, this is someone I call family.
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