What Matters

20130410_112906As many of you may know I have just returned from a vacation, albeit a working vacation, with my father. Sitting on the beach in Mexico, snorkeling, hanging out at the pier in San Francisco, these are lasting memories. I am not much of a cruiser but will look fondly back on the ten days I spent on the Grand Princess, eating good food and swimming in its many pools. And Happy Hour.

It’s interesting, however, that the best memories I have of the trip are not the places and the activities, it’s the people. Spending time with my dad, hanging out and laughing, talking about family and memories, these are memories I will cherish even more than the beach at Cabo. I also spent a significant amount of time with two new friends, Darrin and Michael, whom I have come to care about deeply, in spite of the fact that they are Americans…

Life is about connections. In the past years I have lost some people dear to me and it is tempting to guard my heart, to keep people at a distance, and to minimize the potential heartache should things not work out. Anyone who has been hurt by others knows what I mean. Loving people is dangerous and painful.

I was a single parent for several years and when Annette came along she made me very nervous. I was afraid to be honest with her, afraid to let down my guard, because I knew that she could, if I let her, brush away my emotional defenses and take over my heart. I had spent a great deal of time not caring about other people and was convinced that I would be better-off never engaging in romantic love again. Loving her would be dangerous, and hurtful. What if she left me? What if she got to know who I really was and rejected me? What if I couldn’t make her happy? What if she wasn’t really a redhead?

After the sunburn has faded and the memories begin to wain, what stays with us are the people who have touched our lives and made it better for their being there. What made this trip memorable was the moments with my dad, being kissed goodbye at the airport, and laughing and talking about life with Darrin and Michael. At the end of the day, that’s what matters.

A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.  Jim Morrison

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