Sunday, August 30, 2009

Best Friends

A couple weeks ago I saw the movie I Love You Man, and it got me thinking about the importance of having a best friend. Having a best friend or a couple close friends is one of the most important relationships a person can have. Relationships come and go, but that best friend or group of close friends is always there. I've always believed in quality over quantity in all aspects of life. Friendships is no exception. In my opinion, it's better to have 2 or 3 great friends than 10 acquaintances. Being best friends means you can be yourself with that person and have no filter. You feel comfortable saying anything or nothing at all.

For me, my best friend is Jim Gallant. I've only known him since college, but he is the only person, besides my Dad, that I could hang out with everyday and not get tired of. In fact, that is essentially what we did for the better part of my junior and senior years in college. Jim and I are extremely alike in that we are have simple tastes. We both are laid back, like drinking beer, and love Boston sports. We appreciate the little things, and are just as happy drinking a few cold ones at home, as we are raging at a party. Hell, he's the only guy I know that is lower maintenance than me.

In college we were the duo, almost inseparable from junior year on. He helped me through one of the hardest times of my life in the Summer of 06. He is a great listener, which I think is probably the most important quality in a friendship. Whether it be throwing the football around, ordering Wings for the Patriots games, or jamming out to the song "Roxanne" in the apartment before a night out at Charlie's, it was always a good time. We bring out the best in each other, which is essentially what friendship is all about. Jim's the best friend a guy could have, and he will always be my wing man for life.

I've been lucky enough to meet some great people in my life. I've always had high standards for friends because I just don't see the point in wasting time on people that frankly aren't chill. Here are a few notes about some of my other closest friends. If I've left you out I'm sorry.

Hayley Shelton: This girls knows everything about me, the good and the bad and still talks to me,haha. She is one of the only people that will call me out when I'm being an idiot. She challenges me to be a better person and sincerely cares about me more than anyone else besides my parents. She has made the biggest impact on my life besides my father.

Binns and Chambers: My lifelong childhood friends. I've known Binns since I was 2 years old. We went to preschool together, grew up playing sports, and I still talk to him even though he's a diehard Duke and Cowboys fan(unbelievable). I grew up with Chambers as well and he is to this day the most loyal person I know. This kid would take a bullet for me. He's saved my ass on multiple occasions. One of the most genuinely good people I've ever known.

Pogo: Along with Jim and Hayley no one knows more about me. Some of the best conversations I've had with anyone have been on the canoe trips on the Potomac with Pogo.

Caren Plummer: One of the best female friends I've ever had. Unfortunately I don't get to see her enough with her living in Arizona but we still talk and vent to each other about everything. Hoping she moves back here sometime soon.

Boston Crew: From top to bottom the most solid group of friends I've ever been around. Jim, Billy D, Mark, Doug, Tom, and Smilin Mike. Unfortunately we only met senior year in college, so we haven't had enough time to chill. Some of my best times have been with this crew. Special shout out to Billy D whose optimism and positive attitude is something we all should really learn from. That guy deserves the best in life and I know good things will happen for him.

These are some of the people that have shaped my life. A lot of times, people(especially guys) don't stop and appreciate friendships. It is truly one of the most under appreciated relationships in life. Everyone always talks about marriage, family, kids and those are all obviously important. But having close friends should be right there in the mix. A best friend will be there when your down to listen to the bullshit, and be by you to party it up during the good times. I'm so thankful to have met so many great people in my life and I look forward to all the new people I will meet in the future.

Thanks for reading everyone. If you enjoy the blog sign up to become a follower by simply clicking on Follow toward the middle of the page on the right. As always comments both negative and positive are appreciated. Have a great night!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Love and Happiness

I have been a hopeless romantic most of my life. I've always believed that finding love was the most important part of life. However, I've come to realize, that this is simply not true. Sure, love feels great, and anyone who has found a person that they connect with on that level and love unconditionally is very lucky. However, it's most important to be happy with yourself and independent. It's cliche, but it is really is true that you have to be happy with yourself before you can make someone else happy.

One of the hardest things to do in life is to let someone you love go. I've had to do it and it isn't easy. It's hard to let someone go who you've been close to for so long and who has been there during so many of your best moments. I think a lot of times that's why people stay together or get back together. We all want to believe that those best times can come back and that the fighting will stop. That the doubt will eventually go away. We all want to be loved, but the reality is sometimes it takes breaking things off to put things in perspective. In retrospect you realize how unhealthy the situation was. Sometimes, the most unselfish act is letting someone go.

Everyone deserves to beloved unconditionally. If you can't give a person that, then what is the point of staying together, especially when you are young. I don't believe in love at first sight, but I do believe when you meet the right person you will know. Maybe not right away, but pretty soon. I think there is definitely a difference between loving someone and being in love with someone.

I've realized that I don't need to be with someone to be happy cause I relish my independence. I feel like people rush into relationships because they see everyone else doing it. What is the rush? Have fun and when that love does come around you will know, at least that is what I'd like to believe. Sometimes the way you show you love a person is letting them go. Letting them have the chance to meet not necessarily someone better, but better for them.

I wrote this entry because like most of my blogs, I have gone through a situation like this recently. I was lucky enough to spend a long time with an amazing girl, but I realized I'm not mature enough for a serious commitment in my life at this point. Like anything else timing is everything. Would it be different in 5 years, who knows. All I know is I'm confident that we will both be happier because of it.

Thanks for reading everyone. I'm going to Boston Thursday to visit the only group of friends without a weak link I've ever heard of. The guys are truly great and all bring something unique to the table. Until next time.

Next Blog: Looking back on the college days

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Work vs.College

I've been out of school for two years now and working in "Corporate America." Upon leaving my alma mater Umass-Amherst I wondered if I would miss it. I had heard about the monotony of everyday work life and had taken everything from my favorite movie Office Space to heart. The idea of spending 80% of your waking hours for the next 40 years of life in a small office is pretty scary. What I've realized after all this time is that their are good and bad qualities about work and school.Ultimately though, I'm as happy now as I've ever been. I've realized that I am more antiquated toward the 9-5 lifestyle then the college life.

Don't get me wrong though, college was awesome. You are in a place with all people the same age, and it is the really the only time in life that you are essentially equal to everyone else. No one has any money, so people are on a level playing field. At a big school like Umass it is a virtual guarantee you will meet at least a few people you can get along with and hang out with. It is the safety net of life. One last time in life to use the excuse "well I'm in college."

Everything is all in one spot on a college campus. You usually have food provided, you have gym access that is usually free of charge, and generally always have enough people to play. You have libraries with computers, places to study, groups to join. All within a couple mile radius. There is so much freedom, and depending on your major, little responsibility if you have even decent time management.

The negatives of college and school in general were homework and the ridiculousness of course requirements. In fact, this goes for all levels of schooling. Most of the knowledge I've used in the working world I learned in elementary school. Why do I need to take a class in Ancient Chinese History. It all depends on your major I guess. If you are trying to be a doctor or engineer it is one thing, but it is hard to concentrate and write papers on things that you know are utterly useless to you in the real world. By the end of college I don't think I could've written another paper. You learn the art of BSing starting in high school, and those that are best at that I am convinced are most successful in college, especially on papers. Hell, they are probably the best in the working world too. For me, I've always needed to do everything for a reason. In high school you tried for good grades to get into a good college. In college, sure it looks good to have a good GPA on your resume, but it really doesn't matter that much. It really all depends on who you know.

The 9-5 really suits me for several reasons. First off, my brain shuts off after about 6:00pm , so I do my best work in the morning. I did homework at night in college maybe 2 or 3 times. I'm telling you I'm a freaking weirdo. I'm an old man, 24 going on 64. Also, I'm extremely routinized. In college I had no real set schedule to follow so I made up my own. I would go to class, do my homework, hit the gym, go home, and play basketball at night. Basically everyday the same thing and you know what it worked for me. I'm the most predictable man on the planet. Sure, work is monotonous at times, but overall I like and am pretty good at what I do. I work with some great people and my manager is great and let's me work at my own pace. In saying that, everything that is stereotyped about corporate America is true, and probably even more extreme. But I will get into that on another blog.

To be honest though, the debate to what is better all comes down to cabbage. By cabbage I mean money. I had pretty much no money in college. I frequently had to choose between having dinner and buying 2 40 ounce Busch Light Beers. If my car broke down, sure my parents would help out, but I couldn't afford it myself. When you don't have money you don't have freedom. I'm not saying I have a lot of money now by any means, but I don't have to worry about buying a slice of pizza anymore. Working for money is a lot easier than working to graduate because it is a short term goal. In college, you did a paper and there was always 50 papers afterward with nothing concrete to show for it till graduation. At work at least you know your getting paid for being there.
Plus, weekends are amazing. No homework on Sunday's to distract you from football. On Friday afternoon you know you have two days to do whatever you want. Nothing like waking up on a Sunday morning, eating some waffles, and kicking back with a few friends, some wings, and some beer and watching football. Especially when you are a Patriots fan.

The work vs. college debate is a good one. I would venture to say that most people my age probably still miss college but I definitely don't. I miss the people Jim, Billy D, Mark, Steve, and all the others who were and will always be some of my closest friends, but I don't miss college as an institution. The fact is you have to move on in life and in the big scheme of things college is just a small blip. That is the scariest thing about work, it is practically never ending, but at least your getting paid along the way.

Sorry for the long blog but I figure I hadn't written for 2 weeks so why not. I'd be interested to hear your opinions on what you like better. Back to work!