Eleven years ago I met someone who would forever change my life. I took a job at a department store selling suits. I had no idea what I was doing, since I have no fashion sense, and simply needed a job to help me save money. I’d given up on the idea of college, and was a bit lost. While working there I met Carter, who became one of my best friends, even though I moved to Utah on a whim two months later. Somehow, our relationship survived the geographical distance through scattered phone calls and the good old days of AIM Instant Messenger (remember that?!).
There were times when I really bothered Carter; when I was emotionally distant, distracted, or just not present. And I’m sure this infuriated him, probably because he could always see my potential before I knew it. Thankfully, he pushed through and was persistent with staying in contact with me. I feel as though I’ve really wasted those years of our friendship; it was time that we could have grown very close, a time where I took him for granted, and he was someone I could have learned a lot from had I been ready.
Somehow, I magically convinced him to move to Portland so we could live in the same city. For a decade we lived apart, and finally we are in the same city and exploring our early thirties together.When I needed a place to stay, Carter offered up his home and gave me a safe space to live for a few weeks. When I found a place to live, he continued to offer this safe space by including me in gatherings with friends, food, and fun, which saved me from nights spent whimpering and alone.
Last night I got together with Carter for dinner and to watch a movie called Finding Joe, about the hero’s journey and people finding their passion and discovering how to live. Both of us had wanted to see this for a long time, because we are both in transitional periods; he is starting a new business, and I am discovering more of who I am. Before we started the movie, we talked for nearly two hours about our lives, goals, passions, and what we’ve explored and discovered in the last few months. Once again, he was persistent and thoughtful in his questions and inquiries, and he displayed his empathy while giving insights from his life experiences. Every word that Carter says I truly value, because he is someone who I trust deeply, and someone who means every word he says.During the movie, I know we were both engrossed in the subject matter for different reasons, and not even his puggle’s snores and snorts could distract us from that important message on the screen.
I know that he is going through a difficult time, but I can see the excitement and passion in his eyes. When he first told me about his idea, I could see him buzzing with energy. I was proud of him for taking this leap, and he’s inspired me in this moment and in so many other ways. Carter is a fiercely intelligent individual who has a different way of thinking from me. I can learn a lot from him, and thankfully he has the ability to point out my inconsistencies and make me rethink my world. I could spend hours talking to him and would still learn something new in every minute. His ability and determination to see his ideas through, to investigate and analyze every component, and to create new ideas are some of his best qualities. He pushes me to look deeper in myself and my world, to analyze my goals, scrutinize my situation, and think rationally has saved me a number of times.