An old friend shared a story with me about a time he sat in a car with a woman who he described as someone who was meant to be more than could have been a girlfriend.
He said he wanted to ask her if she still had feelings but feared being rejected and then he asked me what I would have done.
“Brother, you don’t really want to know what I would have done. We’re different.”
He told me I was wrong and said he wanted to know.
“I would have asked her if she still loved me.”
“So you would have put her on the spot. That is a lot of pressure.”
“I am not always a fan of subtlety and I know of a few who pride themselves on never being the first to say it.”
“And if she said no or refused to answer what would you do?”
“Too many variables there. I go with my gut. If I think I really know her and my gut pushes me I might tell her I am certain she does and say that is worth exploring at some point. But I could walk away too. Some people are worth working for and some…aren’t.
We went back and forth a bit and talked about how different it is at this age from when we were younger.
“We’re almost middle aged, that second half we used to hear about is here. It is time to focus on how we want to spend it and with whom.
You could share the ride and join me on an adventure or sit with me and have a quiet meal is pretty compelling. Hell, from my perspective now I am focused first on who I can talk to and who I can spend time with and not want to scream.”
He laughed and said I described my entire life.
“Maybe, but since all that matters is now and the future that is my focus.”
Joe Biden wasn’t my first choice in candidates. I wasn’t ever adamantly against him, but I didn’t get excited about him either.
He made me smile during his acceptance speech.
Joe gave the kind of speech that I want to hear from every candidate. One that felt sincere and included a promise to work for everyone, not just those who voted for him.
He offered hope instead of fear and light instead of darkness.
Those are always valuable and even more precious when the person currently in office works so hard to blot out the sun.
It made me think again of the conversation with my friend and some more advice, albeit unsolicited.
I would ask him to consider who he looks for when he is upset and who he wants to spend time with be it in darkness or light.
If you think of someone as having the ability to be your north star and capable of being your air when you are choking, well you ought to tell them.
We only get one life, but as they say if you live it right maybe one is enough.