As I recently posted on social media, in an effort to honor a commitment I made in My 2021 Year In Review, this post is part of a 2022 birthday week movement to post something once daily this week on my blog, The Impossibility Movement. Well, six out of seven isn’t bad. I blame Shannon for the missed Saturday post, and I have zero regrets. Incidentally, today’s post is one of love and gratitude for that cherished friendship.
Once in a blue moon, God gives you a friend who changes your life. I met Shannon during my time as a trauma nurse, and we quickly bonded over sick jokes and dark humor. If you’ve never work in emergency medicine, it’s something you probably wouldn’t understand. ER workers are a different breed. As far as I’m concerned, when you’ve worked alongside anyone in the ER, when you’ve seen the shit that we’ve seen and experienced what we’ve experienced, together, you‘re bonded for life. To be honest, I think having a few screws loose is a job requirement. But I digress.
Shannon and I experienced so many similar things at similar time periods. Our respective journeys toward personal growth and enlightenment have been strikingly parallel, and we each have had no qualms with calling the other out on his or her own bullshit when it came down to promoting personal growth. For example, at a time when I had become a stagnant, clingy, needy shell of a man in a toxic relationship, Shannon was the only friend who possessed the chutzpah to proclaim,
“What the fuck are you doing? You’ve lost your balls. Stop being a little bitch.“
It was a dagger that I wasn’t ready to receive. But it was true. And the days that followed were wrought with pain and tears. I was molting, shedding my timid identity, and growing new skin that would radiate power and command respect. And it hurt like hell, as spiritual growth often does.
That time period would mark a pivotal point in my personal growth, one in which I made a staunch commitment to put my dignity and self-respect first, and furthermore, to never again tolerate a solitary ounce of bullshit in any relationship, romantic or not. Ironically, it was also that very commitment to MY OWN self love which bestowed upon me a power to love OTHER humans in ways I never thought possible. It was also paramount in my quest to fear nothing.
Several months after, I cut the cord of acclimation; I ditched the only familiar life that I knew; I sold, donated or trashed the majority of my possessions; I terminated the lease on my massive house; I moved into a humble beach shack four hours from my prior home; I learned to surf; I dyed my hair and stopped cutting it; I got a deep and meaningful tattoo sleeve; and I became the vagabond that my heart had so deeply longed for over the entirety of my life. And I also met someone who would completely eradicate my one remaining fear: commitment. But more on that in a future post.
And to the person who called me out for my timidity and lack of balls, who nudged, nay pushed, nay kicked my petrified ass out of my comfortable nest, Shannon, I am grateful beyond what I could ever put into language, my connection, my friend, my soul sister.