Brad of the NOW!
It has been a fantastic day thus far. I was supposed to meet up with a dear old friend (and surrogate mother figure) for coffee this morning, but instead of coffee we went for a walk through downtown instead and played catch-up. She's wonderful and it made me feel a deep sense of peace and belonging spending time with her.
Met with my most recent site clients after that to go over proposed changes to their site and to schedule a time for me to take new photos for them, which was great as they're also old friends and great fun to be around.
Recently an old friend from school that I hadn't seen/spoken to in over 20 years emailed me after finding me online. Someone I thought the world of who was a good friend until peer pressure intervened when it was clear we were on totally different paths - and I never held that against him, even though it did hurt quite a bit at the time and left me feeling rejected and alone. He emailed me and said "I read your note to your ten year old self. I wish I knew at 13 what I know now. You were a good friend. You have no idea how many times I have felt guilty for how I treated you. I know I was probably always the holier than thou or better than you guy in school, but it was never comfortable on me. I applaud your independence even then. When I was a sheep, you were a maverick and I let other people's opinion influence me. I don't know if i ever had a more sincere friend growing up."
That kind of thoughtfulness kind of brings tears to your eyes, doesn't it? This was the best gift I have been given in years. We talked for about an hour and will spend some time eventually in person as we haven't seen one another in 2 decades. It makes me feel very proud to know such fine people who have the strength and the character to try and right a wrong many years after the fact, simply because it needs to be done and for no other reason than to do something honorable. He didn't have to reach out to me, and we could have gone the rest of our lives just fine had it not been something that he clearly struggled with, but I have to tell you that I feel very fortunate to be surrounded by people like this who in my opinion are capable of such great, noble, validating and affirming gestures.
Yesterday, while I was finishing some laundry, Damien came to me for a hug (we do this several times a day for the best reason possible - no reason at all) and said to me "I'm really glad we're together and that we're so happy"
. Indeed I am a very happy man. What a great time to be alive.