A couple of years ago, I was battling with uncharacteristically dark thoughts. Most of the people I know and love had no idea how to react to this as it was uncharted territory for me and those that know me.
I am accustomed to keeping my struggles somewhat bottled, so it was new to me to have suddenly lost the ability to contain my feelings or mask my emotions. People who were used to seeing me stand proud, were unsure what to say or do when I appeared broken.
Luckily for me though, I have by my side an army of beautiful souls whose love, support and encouragement pushed and pulled me through to a place where I am more “together” than I’ve ever been.
Today, without diminishing the contribution of everybody else, I want to spotlight one person in particular. A person who I’m almost certain, up until this point, has NO idea what an important role he played in helping me find my way back to myself. The most unassuming people often are the ones that make a lasting and profound difference.
At the time, “stay busy and keep your mind off things” was probably the one piece of advice I heard daily. Taking this to the next level, one of my kind friends decided to take it upon herself to throw “distractions” my way. Call it kismet if you will but I happened to also be grappling with that existential dilemma: iPhone vs Blackberry (iPhone!!!!!!!!!!) so the aforementioned “distractions” were by way of boys… more specifically, boys with Blackberries who could potentially occupy my every waking moment with BBM messages so I wouldn’t have a single second to think about anything. Ridiculous as it sounds, this turned out to be quite possibly the best thing anyone did for me. (Thank you Jimena!)
I spoke to so many random people over the course of a few weeks and I cannot remember a single name of anyone I ever BBM’d during that time. Bar one.
Introducing…. Ron Jeanniton aka RJ.
I always considered myself an excellent judge of character and I think that making the conscious decision to continue talking to RJ is possibly a huge testament to that.
Don’t get me wrong, he isn’t perfect. But he is inherently good, wise and intelligent. Add some brutal honesty and a wicked sense of humour to that and you have, in essence, a person I am proud to call my friend.
At first, RJ would tell me some incredibly inane shit. From his pride at buying a new wrench, to the glories of Android. But then he began to share his political views, his thoughts on religion, his ideas and in bits and pieces and somewhat reluctantly in the beginning, he told me a little bit about his story.
We’re stupidly similar and yet completely different. But he has become a part of my every day. And every time he shares something he has learnt with me, I feel blessed to be considered someone worthy of this knowledge.
Ultimately, RJ won’t tolerate my self-pitying bullshit. And his overarching message of resilience and determination hit me at the time I needed it most. I know it was never his intention, but he succeeded in unknowingly giving me the shove I needed to steer myself back on to the right track.
He inspired me to empower myself again and for that I will always be grateful.
So.. a toast to my friend, cheers to RJ. Have fun in TX and THANK YOU for being you and sharing that with me.