Saturday, March 21, 2015

Love and Friendship

Jon Katz said "I think if I've learned anything about friendship, it's to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don't walk away, don't be distracted, don't be too busy or tired, don't take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together."

I've never had many friends, I've tended to be fairly selective. I understand through countless hours of journalling, blogging, and talking with my dear wife Virginie that there was something that needed attention within myself first. Then, after that was understood, I feel now that I have a light to shine. I admit, it's so bright to me, almost bursting, and I want to show it to everyone, yet to some I've found more of a connection with than others. I've been thinking about my friends a lot lately. I received a really nice gift from one of them this last Wednesday. I was SO grateful! It was more than a gift though. I could tell this person had put some thought into it. On top of that it also said "I love you, and I accept you".

I think this is something I really want to say now to all my friends. I commit to all of you to always being there, to listening, to understanding, and to enjoying every moment I have with you. I commit to being there when you need me, and asking when I need you. I commit to not being too busy or tired. You are the glue that holds my life together, intricately woven along with family, spouse, and work. Yet, friends are different than these other things. Friends are the family that you choose. You choose them, they choose you. I consider it a privilege to have been chosen by my friends.

Perhaps this declaration may be overwhelming to my friends anyway, so I say it with a slight cringe. I don't want to scare anyone away. Since announcing to the world about my decision to transition, and allowing myself to think female, I've been able to accept certain traits about myself, that I've never felt I could accept. Being emotional is one of them. So, to anyone out there. If you need anyone to cry with you... out of pain, passion, fear, loss, gratitude, wonderment, or joy, I'll cry with you.

Running continues to be an outlet for me. I meet people with the same passion and can share with them something with them that we both enjoy. For me, running is more than sharing running though. Last weekend we set off for our LSD (haha, long slow distance as I've recently learned), we paired up. Sometimes I like being part of a big group, but I hoped this day that I would get paired off with one person in particular, and that we would just be able to yap for hours as we ran. It couldn't have been better. Perhaps we were both feeling better than we usually would, or maybe the context of the conversation provided that extra little bit of energy, but as we ran together, we lost the rest of our group and we ended up running together for remainder of the run. We talked about everything, religion, God, marriage, friendship, running, races, food, habits (good and bad) among a host of other things. It was perfect! I admit, I was supposed to run somewhere else, but everything worked out and I enjoyed myself immensely.

Friendship even seems to transcend borders. I've had the good fortune to meet so many people with literal hearts of gold. When I came out to the world 2 months ago, a close friend from my university days got in contact with me.  Even though she lives far away, the following day flowers arrived at our home with a message and chocolates attached. Her message to me was the same: "I love you, I accept you regardless of the shape, body, or appearance."

The best example of friendship is in my Wife Virginie. She's told me many times, I love your soul, and with this change, my soul has come out in more bright colors than I could have imagined. As a result, while there are lots of concerns about my family, I have none. In fact, I would have considered it a tragedy to live as we were, with me constantly hiding that which wanted to shine forth.

Last October, I ran the Iron Horse Ultra (only the 100k lol!). I felt great during the race. Strong, both mentally and physically. I enjoyed myself from start to finish, and made some great friends along the way.

Shortly after the 50km mark, we crested a hill from the west (heading east). As we descended down into the ravine, a new song came on my headphones. I stopped for a moment. The sun was shining bright. It was warm, with very little wind. There was a lake, surrounded by trees, and then me, descending down toward it, the dry prairie grass crunching beneath my feet. It is a moment sketched in time that I will always remember. I pulled out my camera, and took a video. While no video will ever do justice to how I felt, this is the best I can do and I offer it to everyone as the closest to feeling this enormous passion that I have inside. I swear, it's too big even for my body.

video

Maybe it's too much for just saying thank-you, but to the two people mentioned in this blog (you had better know who you are!!!) thank-you. This entry is for you. Thank-you for being the type of people that make the world a better place. Thank-you for sharing your enormous passion, whatever that is. Your passion for kindness, your passion for charity, your passion for running, your passion for people, listening, feeling, and loving. I swear, the blog title holds. When we love someone, an entire world opens up, and the gift we receive gives so much, we don't have enough room to receive it.

In case anyone is curious, the blog title "When we love someone" came from this song:




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