This post will be the first of four that will cover the following topics: relationships and work, in the next couple of weeks. This one is all me, whereas the next three were suggested to me by my very good friend Griff. I had put out an S.O.S. to my friends and co-workers this past Friday, asking for topics to write about because after 156 posts, I had hit the proverbial wall. Her great ideas will keep me going for the next few weeks, and hopefully more people will chime in as well.
Plus the added incentive of getting credit/notoriety in a public forum was too much for her to pass up.
So, on with today's post.
I consider my friends to be a necessary accessory in my life. Whereas my family helps keep me grounded in reality, my friends help spur me on to heights that I would have never thought possible. I am grateful for all the friends and acquaintances that have either come and stayed, or have come and gone at some particular point in my life.
Within the real world, although there have been minute changes here and there, the essential core of people have remained the same. Within my cyber world, people have come and gone at an alarming rate.
Of all the people I've met and became friends with back in '07, most have dropped by the wayside.
There are some who have left simply because the real world took over in importance to the cyber world. There have been others who have completely dropped out of sight and out of mind. And still others, who for some reason or another, have simply refused to acknowledge any and all e-mails sent to them.
However, there are a few people remaining from that time period that I'm still friends with to this day (I think), and I'm honored that they have remained close to me, in spite of me.
In '08, I made a whole new batch of friends and acquaintances, some of which have driven to distraction, and some who have given me some incredibly necessary peace of mind.
In my blog world, I am fortunate enough to still maintain contact and develop a good online friendship with GumbyTheCat, who I originally met from my countless days in the Topix chat rooms; Sy from "The Wheel is Turning, but the Hamster Is Dead" humor blog, who is an incredibly funny and all around great guy; crseum, a kindred spirit whose wit and sharpness of tounge is second to no one; and Vodka Mom, whose trials and tribulations as a kindergartner teacher makes me glad I don't teach.
In my chat room world, there are few people in my local forum that have helped restore my sanity and showed me that being inexperienced about things in the chat rooms isn't necessarily a bad thing. Just A Teacher, Sweet Potatoe, Parent, Sparky and Truth, have shown me a different side of things that I have rarely seen in the chat rooms: the real world on a personal level. When you can start reminiscing about similar things experienced in childhood on a personal level and people really know what you're talking about, then you have struck gold.
As for the forums on the national levels, there are different groups of people that I have the pleasure of being part of in some small way. I have noted who some of these people are previously, but new ones have been added. Each are unique in their own special way and have been gracious enough to let me be part of their extended family. People like Chicago Poet 3, Beaware, Ricky F, River Spirit, Demonic Penguin, Libra Girl 108 from the military threads; Sister Phyllis, Seventies Chick, cotk, Fish and kay from the religious threads; and countless others who I've come across in other parts of the chat room universe. All of these people have touched me and shaped me in ways I've never thought possible before.
As for the real world, the same core of people who were there when I was down and literally out in paradise, are still with me today. The aforementioned Griff, and the legendary R, have shown me compassion and friendship like no other. They have shared parts of their lives with me as I have shared parts of mine with them, and the experiences I believe, have made us stronger people, kindred spirits, and people who absolutely have no tolerance for stupid.
All in all, every single person I've mentioned here has helped me develop and grow into a more well rounded, well grounded and well respected individual.
For that, I'm truly thankful. It ain't easy to admit that you need people other than your family to lean on from time to time. I am glad that that was able to lean on a few of these people in my time of need, and that they were able to lean on me in their time of need.
Life is good.