During our life we experience a journey that shapes who we are, love, pain, hope, despair, dreams… it is rare that we know when someone or something will become a part of that book.
If I had to pick a theme or message for the book about my life it will be love. I believe that everything in this journey comes back to love, having it, feeling it, giving it or simply lacking it. People without love and passion about life have come and gone through my life and they will not be main characters, what is even more surprisingly is that even the most painful experiences in my life have simply become chapters… every day getting smaller. Back then I seriously thought that chapter of my life would forever shape me, now it is a simple chapter almost comically remembered as the brief appearance of Voldemort.
My book has many characters, but I would have never imagined that most of the main ones would be people that I have met online. My wife is someone I met through my blog, and besides my friends Tom, Bobby, Mario, Travis, Carlos Andres, Julio Cesar, Corey and the Marks (there are 3) all of the members of the friends that I know will be friends for life are people I met first online.
From the moment I saw my wife walking down the hall in O’Hare Airport I knew a new chapter of my life had begun. She helped me rebuild not only my life, but we built a life together. And true love, lasting love had been found.
The CLSB crew, Crazy, Ken, Tony, vCook, Kim, Brother Bill, Dave, Kruz, I all met online… actually I had been friends with Cook before but when he showed up to that first group ride I had not yet married the online persona to the guy that I had gotten drunk with during my college years.
XO is going to kill me for even putting his name here. He is just one of those books you open and know from moment one that the fun will never stop. I don’t use this word lightly and in intellectual matters and coming to conclusions I feel he is a mentor. Being in completely opposite ends of many topics makes our bantering that much more fun. Ever since I saw that he is the scape artist of social events I knew that he would be that elusive character in the book that is not quite Yoda, not quite Obi Wan (he will get the humor) but more of a Captain Picard minus the Jean-Luc part.
Chimpo is a man of few words face to face, and we actually both met the rest of the crazy KC blogger community the same day. Since that day we have shared many beers, many laughs and I continue to steal Loren (Happy Birthday little one!) every time I get a chance to get attention by proxy.
Nuke and I had informally chatted back and forth online. However, he recognized so much of my personality that I don’t show that it amazed me. I am used to reading people like an open book, even if the cover is complex, but very seldom do people read me that way, more often people see what they want to see. A chapter had begun.
The moment I met Mike for lunch now years ago, another chapter was written. Even though our personalities are quite different, I almost felt like I found a long lost brother. He and his wife will be here to visit us once again this summer and it made my day after having to drop Daniel off at the airport… more on that in a bit.
Daniel, its even hard to think about how different the book of my life would be without him being a main character. The interesting part is that Daniel became part of the book and we had never even met face to face. We did not need a personal connection to create a bond that has at times scared the both of us because it seems almost impossible to feel kinship without ever meeting face to face.
This past weekend he fixed that technicality by coming here to KC for a visit from California. I had no doubt that we would get along, I had no doubt that we would have lots to talk about, I had no doubts that he would have a good time because that is who he is, always moving forward always trying to pick up the best… what I did not know was that I would experience this level of friendship from what some call a complete stranger.
I am reading a new book this week about how the brain works. I skipped to the chapter on happiness, my second favorite subject to love, and I was pleasantly surprised when it almost wrote the last chapter of Daniel and I meeting. Paraphrasing a little “While measuring happiness can be debated, it is almost certain that happiness is about little moments stacked together being more significant than one big happy event. Someone that has a drink with a buddy every night will be a lot happier than even someone that wins the lottery.”
The online crew that plays WoW with me have also become a big chapter or the people I first met online, Damayan(bring her a little closer, I am still getting experience!), Hon, Dave, Ann, Smidge, Rob, Chris, Patrick, Yuert, Theydrin, Mr iWipe (Fredler), Dr. Alagorn (he is a freaking Pediatrician!), Sokym, McTeague, Wook and the old drunk.
It is amazing to have so many great relationships, people that I can go and have a drink with, even just virtual. They each enrich every chapter of my life even more than I would have thought possible and cement the idea in my heads that happiness and success has nothing to do with what you have in the back or in the garage, but with who you have around to share your life with.