September 21, 2007
One never knows when a life could change simply because you introduced yourself.
It seemed like an every day moment at the time, but now I realize that when he introduced himself to me, it was the beginning of a life changing experience. All that I can hope is that my acquaintance means just as much to him…a true friend.
This is the story of a meeting of two personalities. It makes me realize that friendship is something to be cherished more than is possible. In fact, true friendship is something more timeless than anything I know of. Here's why:
I met him at a camp crowded by over 1,000 high school students, and although I saw hundreds of faces every day, I became friends with him.
We talked like everyone else about our interests and hobbies. I learned that he flies airplanes and is intrigued by magic tricks. I told him that I do ballet and ride a unicycle. He was going to be a senior and myself, a sophomore. We lived in different states and had different life styles. We seemed not to be very similar at all, but there was something that flashed "connection" and we seemed to get along well. By the end of camp, the two of us were sharing stories and laughs. We exchanged email addresses and promised to keep in touch.
When I returned home from camp, I realized that I had lost the paper with his email address on it. I looked through all of my stuff, but after a couple of fruitless weeks I stopped searching. One day, I thought to look him up on the online network that was being set up for the campers that attended the camp we went to. To my disappointment, he wasn't registered, but as I was online, an Instant Message popped up on the screen. To my surprise, it was the kid who I had just tried to look up a moment before. He had simply tried putting the beginning of my email address in as my IM screen name. Thank goodness it worked.
A series of heartening conversations budded from there. I started to realize something that I hadn't quite fully acknowledged while I was at camp. This kid was exceptionally thoughtful and kind. I don't know what made me, but for some reason I started to tell him things that had been building up inside of me for fifteen years. We expressed our deepest feelings through typed words on a computer screen and learned from each other's pain and experiences.
Our conversations traveled through depths of life that had only been touched before far inside of me. I have always been afraid to share myself… to express my emotions, but for some reason I could talk with him. He too said that he had never talked with anyone about the things we discussed before. It was a very new experience for me, but it was extremely beneficial to my heart and my soul. I had finally found someone who was willing to understand me without prejudice. He was someone I could relate to.
As of now, I have only known him for three months, yet the change that has occurred in me is immense. I never knew that it was possible to be as inspired as I am, but it is happening without a doubt. I am more kind. I am more patient. I love, I live, and I believe in my life. I no longer cry every night because of the pain built up inside of me. I have become more of an optimist than I ever have been. I smile at others just to see if they'll smile back. I thank people who never get thanked for doing what they do and being who they are. I try to inspire… for I simply need to pass on the favor.
PLEASE! I am asking you now. Please go introduce yourself to someone who you would never expect to be friends with.
Perhaps you will feel the connection that I have so graciously been able to experience, and know for yourself the change that comes with true friendship. A soul mate is one who will change your life long term. Even if your friendship is torn apart by grief, abandonment, or death, the effects of the little time that you spent together shape your heart into something it never was before. This change is timeless and immortal. And now I ask you again, if you decide to do anything with your life, choose to be a friend to others that will affect them and change their lives for the better.
I dearly hope, even though we are hundreds of miles away, and our only form of communication is Instant Messenger, that the kid on the other computer who has changed my life has somehow benefited from my compassion and listening ear.
I say this to you now, Super Aviator Man: THANK YOU. :-D
--- Written in 2007 by Katy C. --- Illinois
Have something you would like to share?
An insight that has helped you?
We invite you to submit a story/article/poem.