"Hey there weird kid in your high-top shoes, sitting in the back of the class, I was (am) just like you, always left out, never fit in, owning the path that you're walking in..."
When I first met you, I was told you were weird.
Looking back, now over five years ago, I cherish more than ever, your weirdness.
It's why we can play cuss-word Scrabble and drink whiskey giggling like third graders at the words we create. Why we can talk three times a day about farting or hours about big things or not talk for a week. Why we can ride fat bikes down the train tracks at 2am, go on treasure hunts in the Sonoran desert, wild rides on snowy roads in South Dakota, solve the worlds' problems on top of a mountain, in a backcountry hut, at J.Bo's, in a hot springs, or between episodes of Grey's Anatomy.
Our similar, "never fit in" qualities cement our friendship. Our differences challenge us to keep searching for understanding and growth.
You are the one who wipes up the puddle of Jill when she falls flat on her face. You listen patiently to my trivial babbling about work, my funny (and not-so-funny) anecdotes, my "stupid/unfeeling/why did I date him" boyfriend ramblings and my crazy ideas that may or may not work.
I look into your life and marvel at a heart that is so big and so true. I know the way you were raised and where you come from and am so thankful that we crossed paths and sifted through all the awkward and weird. You inspire me with your patience and kindness and loyalty. These genuine qualities are rare. You quietly embody these qualities. Most just talk about them.
Your quiet nature is too much for most to understand. It was, admittedly, for me when I first met you. I felt awkward and at times confused. But we kept riding bikes and hanging out. We kept feeding quarters into the jukebox at dive bars. You wanted to listen about big bikepacking dreams and I wanted to talk about it. You always provided the pragmatic and logical piece that grounded me. I shoved you in the unsafe, untried, kinda scary direction you naturally gravitate toward.
You never quit being my friend when I wasn't the most pleasant friend. You listened to emotional boring girl-shit that I trust no female to talk to about. And you remember it to help me navigate through rough waters in the future. You made a diaper for my old dog when I was gone chasing miles on my bike. Who would do that for a friend? You did. Quietly, patiently.
Just like everything else you do.
The world needs more friends like you, Mr. Misunderstood. More souls like you. More of your qualities. Ah, but you are the quiet, soft-spoken, slightly awkward one that doesn't complain, whine, make waves or share much of his life. Often you are overlooked....misunderstood....and generally ignored by the masses.
Their loss. Let the dumbasses be dumbasses. Let them continue to blissfully float along in their selfish bubble. If they can't get past the outside, they do not deserve the treasures that lie within.You mean the world to us weirdo freaks who love you. You are strong, capable and talented and your perceived social insecurities are (truthfully) your most beautiful attributes.
I could not have lived the life I have lived in the past 5 years without your friendship. We have in the past and still sometimes do annoy the piss out of each other, but its called being a human.YOU have taught me so much and we have had enough laughs and adventures (crazy, epic, big and small) to fill a book--a book we will continue to fill and one I will cherish my whole life. Thank you. My gratitude knows no limits for all the things you have done for your fellow weirdo.
Keep on keepin' on. Your Mrs. Misunderstood is out there. Headed your way, my friend. Soon.
Right now "they are standing in line, chasing the buzz til the next big things and already was, and hell if they know what they are trying to find, if it ain't that same-old been done kind..."
Next up: Finding my SMILE again in Costa Rica.