Bricker and I met when we both worked at Claddagh six or seven years ago. Though we haven’t worked together in several years, we’ve still kept in touch, as she is the type of friend that you want to have forever. She’s the type of friend that will do anything for you anytime. Truly cares about your well being. Has a laugh that’s beautifully contagious. The type of friend that will let you climb through the doggie door to gain access to her house because she forgot to leave you a key. The kind of friend that you have several inside jokes that only you and her should EVER know about.
Bricker has spent the years I’ve known her trying to better the lives of others. Currently her house is full and I mean full of items that have been donated for those less fortunate than most. She works alongside many others that donate their time and compassion to help the homeless. I’ve never understood how she does it. Daily. Putting herself out there to help those that struggle. To see the things she does and to hear the things they tell her. The overwhelming feeling of it all has to take a toll on ones health. Ones mind. Bricker though, every time, will have that contagious laugh, that beautiful smile and more happiness than a three year old. The sadness that she endures from some must be fulfilled by seeing the achievement of others that she has invested her time and heart in. Just the other day I had the pleasure of helping take a bed and some furniture that my mom had donated to a gentleman that had been on the streets, but with Brickers help, he was now living indoors and hopefully able to maintain the help he needs to live a stable life.
A text that her and I shared, Me: “I don’t know how you do it daily, but they are lucky to have you.” Her: “Awww thanks! I’m lucky to have them too!”
Thank you for being such a great friend. Not only to me but to those you don’t know. To those that need you. Thank you for sharing that with me, sharing that compassion. Thank you for all that you do.
*Note: Bricker is her last name. I’ve called her that since I met her :)*
This photo reminds me of my cross country road trip. The endless open, like the ocean. The quiet thoughts while driving during sunset. I enjoyed being on the road. I had more of a feeling of ‘having everything’ than I do now. Going from place to place, no agenda, no destination. Some days I’d give anything to be out there again. Truly living life in such a way of simplicity.
‘When you are in the final days of your life, what will you want? Will you hug that college degree in the walnut frame? Will you ask to be carried to the garage so you can sit in your car? Will you find comfort in rereading your financial statement? Of course not. What will matter then will be the people. If relationships will matter most then, shouldn’t they matter most now?’-Max Lucado
This is where I will begin again. I made a commitment with Chandler and I got away from that. I let ‘life’ get in the way and chipped away a small part of a very important relationship. I want to finish this. Not because I have to. Not because my ‘mommy sat me down spoke firmly to me’. I need to because Chan & I were in this together. In 19 years, Chandler has stood by my side and loved me unconditionally. Chandler has watched me fall and climb back up, never once judging me, but hurting for me because he loved me. I’m sorry I have let you down Chan! I love you bud ❤
This year has been a full one. There has been a lot of great moments and some not so great ones. There has been a lot of change. I fell crazy deep in love with a wonderful person. I finished my freshman year of college and moved into my sophomore year. I had a ton of new experiences like going to Gary for the first time, riding a Ferris Wheel, getting fired from a job, getting in a car accident, getting pulled over for the first time, running into a Sheriff because I was trespassing (he was very nice), getting my first tattoo, smoking for the first time, changing my major and my first car died in the parking lot of a gas station. I did a lot of exploring, driving, thinking and saw a lot of new places. I made my first road trip and I saw the Atlantic Ocean for the first time. I got over some really rough thoughts and decided that living was better than dying. I got better at taking photos and also decided that photography was not what I wanted to do for a living. I met new people, including Austrian royalty, and made some new friends. I switched jobs a few times and learned a lot about work and how it plays into life. My mom moved and we said goodbye to a house that had been home for nearly seven years. I read a lot and wrote a lot. I wrote some good stuff and some not so good stuff. I got some good grades and some bad ones. I got into arguments and got a lot better at saying sorry and making up. I learned a lot about myself and how I work. I learned how to express myself, how to deal with some of my issues, how to apologize, how to stand up for myself, and how to listen. Like I said it has been a year of change, growth and new experiences. I sit here and look forward to another year of new experiences, new places, and new people. I see a year of challenges, new memories to be made and new things to discover not only about the world but about myself. This challenge has been a good one. It has definitely been a challenge. I have loved it and hated it. Now it’s finished and I’m glad I did it and finished it. So here’s to a great year filled with great times and great challenges.