“The race is long, and in the end, the real race is against yourself.” – Baz Luhrmann
I lost a friend this summer.
We met after college. We had a brief fling, then lost touch.
We did not see each other for years.
Time passed. I got married. Bought a house. Changed jobs. Had kids. Life moved fast.
We reconnected 5 years ago.
We became inseparable. We would meet up 3 – 4 times each week.
Our relationship was predicated on putting each other in UNCOMFORTABLE situations. We would roll around on the floor and get sweaty – sometimes with complete strangers.
Our relationship was based on TOUGH love. We spoke TRUTH to each other.
My friend would remind me of my FLAWS and the work I needed to do. It was with me when my weaknesses were exposed.
My friend was with me during good times. It saw me at my worst.
It was literally by my side when I struggled and doubted my ability to continue.
My friend stood by me when my mind told me, “Just quit! This is crazy. Do something else.”
Our relationship EVOLVED. I was excited when we first met. Then I started to resent my friend.
There came a point when I was EMBARRASSED to be seen with it. I wondered why I could not get rid of my friend like other people did.
No matter how hard I tried, I could not shake it. It seemed like my friend would be with me FOREVER.
Then a funny thing happened. As I matured, I began to appreciate my friend.
I started to EMBRACE our relationship.
I started documenting all the things I learned during our time together. I realized my life was better when my friend was by my side.
The days when life kept us apart, I found myself cranky, even down right miserable.
I started to appreciate how far we came together. I realized how our time together had a POSITIVE impact on other aspects of my life.
Then one day, “out of the BLUE“, I got a notice that my friend was leaving. Our relationship was over.
It would no longer be by my side.
There still was one huge piece of unfinished business. We had to walk side by side through one last GAUNTLET.
We had to demonstrate what we had become.
It would be our DEFINING moment together.
When the end came, my name was called. We stood up together and faced the crowd.
My friend was taken from me. It was replaced by an even BIGGER challenge.
As one door closes, another opens…
– Joe Ciccarone