Graham just bought me a muffin. Last week he bought me chocolate cake. I know Graham because we've both drank coffee in the same Starbucks on and off for 6 years. He's over twice my age and on paper we probably have nothing in common. However, he's one of the most similar people to me I've ever met - we both have the same love of people. We like to watch them, study them, learn about them and meet them. We like being kind to people and making people happy. So that is why, when I look a bit down, he'll randomly buy me chocolate cake to cheer me up, not expecting anything in return. That’s spontaneous human kindness and there's nothing that can make you appreciate life more.
What matters to me?
Firstly, what inspired me to write this? Answer: I have a very bad habit of forgetting who I am. I love making people happy and sacrifice who I am to do that, and that’s wrong. I’ve recently realised just how much I’ve messed up and am trying to regain some perspective everything. I’ve realised that whenever I go out with someone I give in to them, I do what they want to try and make them happy and I forget that I’m me. Time goes by and the relationship fails because I cease to be me, the person they wanted to go out with, and start to be the person they think they want me to be. Then when I become that person, they wish I was still the old me but it’s too late. So I’ve written this as a reminder to myself of who I am, what I believe and what matters to me. I indeed to document what I learn about the world and what I learn about myself as a constant reminder to me, and anyone else that cares, what is important.
So, what matters to me? The answer is my principles and the people I love. I will never be able to explain how hurt I was when I wasn’t one of Al’s best men. I was so angry at him, so shocked and so hurt. But that reaction was totally wrong. I had no right to expect to be one of his best men – I had let him down by not being there, I had lost all track of my priorities and totally neglected and rejected him by my actions. It would have undermined Buick, Matt and Sam, and their loyalty, if I had been. Last night I apologised to Al and vowed to myself that I would never have to apologise to one of my friends for neglecting them again. I will not sacrifice my friends or my principles for anyone again, however much I love them or want them to be happy/secure/safe/etc. To do so stops me from being me, and if I am not being me, the situation that is changing me is wrong!
When Em split up with me just before Sam’s wedding I thought the timing could not have been worse. But, again, I was wrong. You see, that wedding made me realise what matters. It made me realise how much my friends matter to me, how much Sam means to me. I know that I’ve damaged my friendship with Sam over the last three years and I know that he’s been so loyal to me. The wedding made me realise how much I’ve damaged other friendships too and how much I wish I could turn the clock back and undo that damage. It also made me realise how amazing my friends are: they’ve accepted me and forgiven me in the blink of an eye. I know they are still angry with me and that it seems unfair that I should just slip straight back in, and I know that it will take time before stuff is really restored to how it was, but I also know that I have such an amazing group of friends that it will happen. I have realised that my closest friends are like family to me – they’ve transcended friendship.
Orange have got an advertising campaign at the moment about how you are a part of everyone who’s ever been in your life, and I really think that’s true. I am a bit of all of those people who have grown up with me. They’ve made me who I am and I’ve made them who they are, and that bond is something that I truly believe will not die. We will all go our own way in life but I really believe that those closest few will always be there if I need them and I also know now that I will always be there when they need to me.
If you haven't read "Friends Like These" by "Danny Wallace" then take some time out, go sit in a coffee shop (preferably one with lots of people to watch), put some music on and just lose yourself in it. It will make you think and ponder and realise about the things that matter
So what matters to me? My principles and my friends. Yes, I want to be rich and I want a loving wife and kids and I know that all that will happen one day – but none of it will happen at the expense of those I love.