I often sit and wonder about my life and how I became who I am? What were the events, situation and influences that got me to where I am today? One of the main influences that I can clearly see is the presence of good friends.
One person in particular who has influenced my life in a dramatic way would be my best friend Ben. We both met when we were roughly thirteen. He had recently moved to the small town where I grew up. Ben and I became friends, and started forming a brotherly bond that would move us through the awkward adolescent and teenage years, into adulthood and beyond. At this time in my life, I had no idea how Ben would affect my life.
As years progressed, Ben and I found that we leaned on each other for support, each looking for opinions, guidance, and flat out honesty, such as Ben’s over-obsessive tendencies and me just being a somewhat socially handicapped. This lead to brutal truths about our characters and quirks, and was sometimes a slap in the face. Looking back, it’s funny how we never got angry with each other, we took the criticism and never got offended. There was no judgment; we were just trying to be better people, applying the traits that we envied in the other to ourselves. Both of us could feel the love and concern, and wanted to see each other succeed in everything.
Later in life, Ben and I found ourselves both living in a completely foreign environment. I had gotten a job in California, and talked Ben into coming to work with the same company. For two small town kids, California was huge. We both felt the buzz of opportunity and attempted to take it all in. By this time in our lives we had grown to adults. We had many different experiences as well as many of the same ones. Ben and I still looked to each other for support in our new endeavors and responsibilities. With this new job and life came many new challenges. We found that we craved the challenges and the new situations. This was fun to us.
Ben is married and the father of two beautiful children. Our life situations are very different now, but we still enjoy the contrast of our different experiences, and finding ways to learn and be better people. Many challenges come in our lives, and I can’t even imagine how the journey might have been without such a good friend. This friendship has shaped my life, and who I have become. Ben and I are two completely different people with different skills, strengths, and weaknesses. Never has there been a moment of judgment passed. Ben is like a brother to me, and with him as a friend, I feel that I can take on any challenge and face any situation, good or bad.