Monday, October 08, 2007

How Old Am I?

In high school, I took things too seriously. I can admit that. I thought the entire trajectory of my life depended on the smallest things. Because of that, my classmates frequently did things to me for their amusement. A favorite was to call me "The Fat Hawaiian." It bothered me. One of the main reasons people did it was because it bothered me and they took joy in watching me get worked up. Calling out taunts during sporting events was another group's favorite pastime. All of those people knew how to push my buttons and did so at my expense for their amusement. Why wouldn't they? We were in high school and that's what juveniles do. That was then. At my 10 year high school reunion, several people mentioned to me how mellow I was compared to when I was in high school. I realize now it was because in large part I am more selective about who I choose to spend my time with. My philosophy about what it means to be a friend can be illustrated nicely with the analogy of a group ride. You have competitive group rides and friendly group rides. Both have their places and the competitive group rides are more like the business world. Everyone is in it for they and theirs and all strategems are employed to 'win.' And then there's the friendly group rides. The rides we choose to go on. These are rides where we all have fun together on a ride. We all move faster by working together. When I'm feeling good, I take a turn. When I'm not, I sit in. And so it goes. My friends are the people I choose to spend time and effort to maintain relationships. So with friends, I'll take my pull when it's my turn. I'll take long pulls and will pull as often as needed. But I expect that my friends will take their turn when the time comes. I don't have the patience to take pulls for people only sit in or for whom I am merely a source of amusement. This is now.