Life is always full of oddities that make it either incredibly frustrating or mildly interesting. I’m one of the people that believes that if life is interesting, it will be far more fun and worthwhile than a life that is safe. It’s not really a choice, though. Anyone who has ever lived can attest that life is inherently interesting. Nearly nothing happens when or how you’d expect it (unless you are a fervent believer in Synchronicity).
*Not The Police album*
I GET BY WITH A LITTLE HELP
A few things happened to me recently that are the basis for this update. I’m not going to go into all of the details, but for basic understanding just know two things:
1. I’ve had some issues that drained me over the past year, but I’ve been fixing that situation.
2. I’ve learned how much I genuinely miss some of my friends from The Kubert School.
A few days ago I was texting my friend Orion, when he mentioned that a couple of friends of ours are currently engaged. Maybe it was the realization that lives move on without my being their to witness them (a strange feeling, I assure you), or maybe it was finally having the energy to process my real feelings (you can learn a lot from just being awake), but whatever the case may be, I realized how desperately I wanted to be a part of the lives of my friends.
A storm of texts erupted through my phone and in the aftermath there was the very real understanding that my friends cared as well.
I want to be very clear. When I mention that these people were my friends, I don’t mean the acquaintances that most people have while in school. These people were real and very dear friends that I stupidly, and selfishly, let slip out of my life.
I remember one friend asking me after class if I could help him move his desk and work area from his bedroom to a new studio room that he hoped to use. His name was (and is) Evan, and at the time we knew each other well, but weren’t necessarily best friends. We both lived in the off campus “Mansion” that was used for students visiting from out of state or country. It was a house built to make the inhabitants feel welcomed, but the environment was definitely one that was alienating. When I first moved into the Mansion, I had no friends. The first night was absolute hell. I remember crying as I laid down in bed and not really knowing why other than I just couldn’t handle the idea of being alone like this. I had a fondness for coffee and, at the time, Bob Dylan that was reciprocated by a fellow student down the hall. I used to go and visit every night for coffee and music and eventually it turned into me just doing my schoolwork on the floor. He had a roommate that, as luck would have it, shared more common interests with me than either of us did with the one I was visiting for coffee. His name was (and is) Evan.
If we then flash forward a couple of months, Evan and I had become great friends, or we were at least friends on a level where he would ask me to help him move his desk and tools into another section of the house. We spoke for a little bit on the reasons and both discovered that we’d feel much better being in this tiny little room on the far section of the house than we would working where we had been for the last few months. After I finished Evan’s move, I grabbed my things as well. Soon after, a friend that had joined us for several lunches and trips joined the studio, and cemented a feeling of belonging I won’t forget.
These friends weren’t just sharing a room with me. We weren’t just writers and artists in some bullpen. We had become a close group. We were so close, in fact, that the next year we all moved in together. The group expanded to include our other closest friends, one of which being Orion, and we spent a full year in a house and we didn’t kill each other. That’s friendship.
Groups really mean something. Belonging is integral to understanding yourself and friends are a way to work through life with views that aren’t so narrow that they’re your own. I’m really happy to have the friends that I do. Actually, no, it’s not about being happy. It’s luck. I’m extremely lucky to have the friends that I do.
That’s why I’m revisiting a concept that was developed about a year ago. I have a project in mind that, if all goes well, will incorporate some of my friends and I in a way that will keep us together, keep us working, and keep us climbing to new heights in artistry.
If you already subscribed to my mailing list, then you should be aware that I spotlight some of my friends and what they’re currently doing. Last month, I spoke about Orion and the amazing art he is producing for several different publishers and authors. I actually left some of what he is doing out of the finished product so that I wasn’t making the newsletter so damned long. I’m going to continue this trend. I’m going to update you as more comes along and, with any luck, in the next few months to a year you can see my friends and I working together.