Over the past 3 months I have been blessed with the opportunity to reengage into a relationship with a childhood friend. We had spoken only a couple of times the first few years after high school. He had joined the service and I was finishing college and getting ready to do the same. A couple of more years went by and I recall having a conversation or two. And then, like most things in life, we got busy living our lives. It was as simple as that. As simple as seeing a palm tree while sitting on the deck of your apartment (not something I have gotten to enjoy while in Texas).
There was no toxicity between us. No falling out. No jealousy. Simply two boys from a small town that grew up playing sports together and even wearing the same number on our respective teams during high school. He jokes he could not play basketball during those years of high school because I had his number. I wish I could have said the same about playing football, but I never played the sport and likely would have been terribly hurt trying. He had the talent that kids from larger towns and cities get recruited for. But that is another story. This one is much simpler.
Anyone who knows me could attest to the fact that I put a lot of stock into three things – TIMING, DISCIPLINE, and WHO LUCK.
Those three things enabled me to reengage with my friend. Thanks to some timing with the release of my new book Exceptional Every Day, the Cal football team going to a bowl game in Arizona in late December 2018 (that took lots of discipline), and a very big helping of WHO LUCK, I was able to join the team for their game.
I had no idea that my old friend lived not far from the stadium. Just one week before the game I had sent him a friend request when I saw his profile on Facebook. If you really know me, then you also know that I did not have an account with the social media mogul until the fall of 2018. It’s not my thing. And perhaps I was a hater, but I now see the positives that can in fact come from it. I also see all the damage and negative aspects of the platform, but I will let you be the judge of that.
Back to that initial request. He sent me a reply on messenger (another social media connector that I had not used previously) and it simply said, “Val, how can you send me a friend request and not write a message?” He essentially called me out, and I loved it. That “call out” connected us. He even used my childhood nickname. I almost forgot my name was Jason during those last 5 years of primary school because no one used it.
Thanks to one of my closest and dearest friends at Berkeley, a few extra tickets were offered to me for the bowl game. I immediately thought of my friend. If he could make it, I could see him for the first time in 21 years. That is a long time by anyone’s standards. And he did make it and we spent about 40 minutes together catching up just before the game. Those 40 minutes led us to many more text messages and REAL conversations about life. Thanks to some timing and a big helping of WHO LUCK (that allowed me to build many lasting friendships with the coaches, staff and athletes at UC Berkeley), I was able to see an old friend again and essentially start a new relationship. A healthy one. One with no strings attached. One as simple as a palm tree seen off the deck, or a bicycle that serves its purpose by getting you where you need to go.
Today, why don’t you take just 5-minutes (start a timer if you must) to consider the relationships you have in your life. Especially the positive ones. The ones where you are authentically happy for the other person. Where the interaction is simple. Where the gratitude is priority #1. Don’t waste lots of time scanning Instagram and Facebook today. Instead make a simple connection that may have passed like the wind. Reach out to that person. And if they don’t answer or return your message, then keep going.
I am sending positive energy your way, and I hope this call to action is simpler than you ever imagined.