Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Wheels On the Bus…

Lately it feels like my life has become one giant race circuit. I do a lap around the country, only to make a pit stop in Tampa. With a fresh batch of clothes, a restocking of supplies, and few nights in my own bed, I head back out on the road. If you blink, you might miss me. But I have never found myself too busy to be a real friend to the people I care about, especially when they needed my support. Whether it’s a bite to eat, or a quick workout at the gym, I make sure to give my friends and family as much time as humanly possible, because I miss the familiarity of faces as much as anyone.

My travels aren’t all woe is me. They have actually given me opportunities to meet and become friends with people I would have never had the opportunity to do so otherwise. Throughout my high school career, I had many meetings with my guidance counselor Richard Peak. It’s not like I was depressed, or eating my feelings, or eating nothing at all, or having issues with the Mean Girls… I just wanted, well.. guidance. Sure, my parents are well rounded, intelligent people but sometimes I question the validity and relevance of their advice as it applies to the times I live in. I mean, when my dad was dating.. I’m pretty sure “Grease” was still the word, and not yet a hit musical. And my mom was such the good girl that she really didn’t deal with the douschebaggery that plagues most of today’s dating scene. So, I found a great confidante in Mr. Peak. He was just that cool adult that got today’s generation, and did it without being “that guy.” Some of the best advice he gave me was a story about a bus.

He told me, “Jenn, life is like a bus… and you are its driver.”

Me? I was like.. “Clearly you have never seen my driving Mr. Peak, or you would know I could never be a bus driver.”

“No, Jenn,” he said, “Life is like a bus in the way people enter and leave our lives. You see, some people will get on and only go for a few stops. Not because they don’t care, but simply because it was just a natural progression in life’s journey. Then, there are others that get on and ride til the very last stop. Those are your true friends. You have the right to choose who can come along on your journey. And the others that try to drive from the backseat, annoy the other passengers, and try to prevent you from getting to your destination??? Well, you let them know that their pass to ride your bus has expired.”

This past weekend found me retracing my father’s steps, and brought me back to the city of Indianapolis. Though I was there mostly for work, the weekend turned out to be much more therapeutic and enlightening than anything else.
The city of Indy is not only home to my family roots, but also home to one of those influential figures you meet along the way… Will Carroll. Will joined my journey about two years ago when the two of us were slated to work on a project together for a television network. And though our business venture didn’t quite pan out, an amazing friendship did. He and his wife have been through some tough times with me, and have played a major role in my evolution as a young adult. Sounds corny, sure.. but maybe I’m looking for corny in my life.

As most of you can tell, the journey I have been on for the past three years has been both extraordinary and disheartening. MySpace can’t possibly have an emoticon for every feeling I have experienced, nor could most shrinks explain them to me. The random series of events that have transformed my life have brought into it some amazingly interesting people. From the professional athletes, to the high paid producers, to the creepy club owners, to the sexually explicit shock jock, and of course all the places in between. But I have never been one to judge someone solely on society’s stereotypes. Instead, I have made my own judgments only after getting to know them. I’d like to think I am a pretty good judge of character. Very few fakes slip past me, and the ones that do… well, it will never happen again. I pride myself on knowing people. I mean, I “get” people. I’m extremely relatable, personable, and considerate.. all while being brutally honest and forthcoming. I just believe in treating every person the way I want to be treated. If they don’t reciprocate… well, it’s their loss.

It’s not easy knowing a person’s true motives for being your friend. Why do they want to hang out with you? What’s in it for them? Are they a truly genuine person? Sad to say, most of them aren’t. Not to say that these people are rejected by society because I am sure someone somewhere can call these types of people “friends.” I mean, whatever floats your boat guys. But at the end of the day, if a person isn’t there just to share in my experiences, and be there for me as a true friend… well.. their pass for my bus doesn’t usually last for more than a few blocks. Hell, they are lucky if they don’t become road kill because while I may break for animals, I certainly don’t break for crappy people. After all, you are judged by your associates, and I don’t need people out there that will tarnish my name, and I don’t need people to reflect their questionable behavior on me. So why waste time on the fakes and the phonies? The people that want you for something other than just your unconditional friendship??.. With my time as limited as it is, I’d rather not waste a single second with someone that doesn’t return the value of my friendship back to me. I’m tired of wasting time, money, effort, and energy on anything but the real deal.

The power of the internet has had as great of an influence on my life as my travels have, in that I have met many of good friends and acquaintances on here. From the Locker Room, to networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, I have managed to meet tons of new faces, and share a good laugh or cry with many of you. I’d even say we’re “friends.” Hell, some of you are more loyal than the people that see me on a regular basis. Don’t think I don’t appreciate it, because I always give you the utmost respect, and help out/respond when I can. I mean, I’ve never lied to you, or lead you astray about who I was.. because well, what kinda friend would that make me? I have however, been candid about my life, my experiences both good and bad.. and admittedly sometimes a glass case of emotion that would make even Ron Burgundy a bit jealous. But that’s who I am. The brutally honest girl. The straightshooter that isn’t afraid to tell you how it is. So if you’re reading this, odds are you chose to stick around for a few more blocks. And for that, I am eternally grateful. Because while we may never meet face to face, you will always know that I have been nothing but myself with you. I’ve been unconditional. I’ve been honest. And isn’t THAT what being a friend is all about?

While most people think of Indy as a city of fast cars and Super Bowl Champions, I think of Indy as a safe haven. A sanctuary of sorts, where I can gather my thoughts, my emotions, and my strength, all with the help of a few good friends. It felt good to feel wanted, accepted, and appreciated, but it felt best to know that it was 100% genuine. So while the rest of the city was going 230 mph around me, my world hit pause and let me find myself again.

Will and his wife are just two of those people you meet along life’s journey. There are countless other friends that have stood by me to face the critics and the music when everyone else chose to turn their backs. Sara is my superhero, constantly saving my ass on occasions too numerous to count. Roger is my defender to bloggers, haters, and the people that choose to attack me without warning or purpose. Drew is my cheerleader, constantly trying to tell me that people will be better than the really are, but yet is always optimistic they will change. Ash and Yenly are my personal jesters, who are always good for a laugh, and are guaranteed to give me a case of the hiccups. Serena is.. well.. as brutally honest as they come. And Will and his wife, are the pioneers that taught me.. I should never settle for anything less than what I deserve. There are countless other friends that have taught me things both about society and myself, and for this they are always welcome in my life. With my family at my back, and my friends by my side, I’m pretty much a force to be reckoned with.

Some say it takes a village to raise a kid. Well, for me?.. It’s more like a bus. The seating may be limited, the ride may hit a few bumps, and sometimes you’re lucky if you can barely hang on to the bumper… but I promise you it will be a journey to remember. After all, true friends aren’t just there when things are great. They are the one’s that stick around when things are anything but.

And I’m just lucky enough to have some great friends that chose to stick along for the ride.


fioNa said...

wow... i was expecting to see some ditz, camwhorish pictures, but i'm really impressed by the maturity of your blog entries. hope to see more from you :)

Anonymous said...

I don't know that I'm a "pioneer", but I am flattered, touched, and very glad that we're friends!

Anonymous said...

The wheels on the bus.
Interesting title.
It’s a way of seeing things, but it just isn’t my way.
When I was about 10 years old I met a very wise person that helped me in a very tuff time in my life.
His words still define and shape what I’m today, some of those words where “Son. You have lost your faith and now you feel lost. But let me tell you something, God wont do for anybody what that person is not willing to do for herself. So don’t live your life by what you have read in a book but rather learn from experience and from other people mistakes, because I assure you, you won’t live long enough to make all mistakes” in another case he told me “Do you know what this life is all about? Pain! Sure you have your moments of happiness and pleasure, but at the end of your life you will understand that pain was more present that any other feeling.
Why is it like this? Because that’s the way we are.
Look at people in general; you only see the good in them when they are all buried in shit to the neck, only then do people come together and help each other survive the worst it’s sad but it’s the truth” final example “Always wish for the best, but at the same time be prepared for the worst, if you don’t do that then life will devour you in spit you out, people will come and people will go, they all will have impact on your life, some more some less, but always give people a chance to enter your life don’t discriminate anyone not by their status, race or beliefs, because they all have something to teach you. It’s true many will hurt you, many will despise you and many will search your friendship because they want something. But whatever the cause don’t close yourself in a shell every time they reveal their true colors, but rather learn and shape yourself in accordance to what you consider right and wrong. Don’t expect other people to teach you what is right or wrong because most likely they don’t know it either”.
So you see Jenn it isn’t that the bus theory is wrong but it as too much loop holes that simply it doesn’t cut it for me.
Let’s examine the loop holes.
First of all if it is a bus then like any real bus there is a limit to how much people it can carry, and that simply isn’t acceptable to me.
Why? You may ask.
Simple, because there is no order in the way or time certain people enter your bus, so simply you are saying that once the bus is full then you don’t have anymore space to met other people, people that may contribute more to your life than any other person that’s already on the bus, you are closing the door to opportunities that only appear once in a life time.
Second, just because a person stays on the bus to the end of the ride it doesn’t mean that that person is truly your friend, has you may know there are the leaches, those that live from other people’s lives.
How do you know your bus simply isn’t full with them?
Ok, you said it more than once that you consider yourself a good character judger, but no one can truly know what the other people thinks, and that is your flaw.
You created a stander to valuate other people’s intentions, but it isn’t full proof.
Third, this bus theory gives the false impression that people enter and leave as they please, but both you and I know that’s a lie.
If you are the driver of the bus then that bus isn’t a regular bus but rather a campaign bus, used by politicians to spread their word.
Let’s face it, what are the chances of a person like me to become pen pal with you, or simply as the theme implies, to enter the bus you are driving?
Let me see…None!
Why do I say this? Also it’s very simple to answer.
Because your bus is almost filled, let’s be honest with each other, your bus isn’t a regular bus but a bus where you decide those you let in and those that must get out, and by now your bus most be getting pretty filled, the more people take one seat you become more demanding to does that can occupy the last remaining seats.
And that simply doesn’t work for me.
I’m more like and endless universe, I let all those who want to enter my life, enter, of course each person as a different place and importance in my universe but I assure you there is enough room for everyone.
You can say “But that’s not possible. No one can be friend with the entire world”.
But that’s the beauty of being me, I let people get in, but if they don’t prove themselves to be at least honest with me, then I flush them out, and rarely can they get back in.
I could go on and on about the loop holes but that isn’t necessary, if you’re reading this Jenn then you have seen why the bus simply isn’t my way.
I’m glad you accepted me to your MySpace account and I even subscribed to your blog so I could keep myself updated, and believe me I had to spend tons of time just reading and viewing everything there was about you.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that it was a waste of my time, by the contrary I had my laughs and precious insights about what you wrote and done, and if I spend time even commenting on your blog is because I want to, it isn’t to say things like “Hey I’m your greatest fan” or “Damn you are hot. Marry me” or to simply say other corky things you must read all the time; no I’m here writing this for you because I read and understood your point of view, and to share my own point of view.
Now, do I consider myself your friend?
Not in a long shoot, we don’t even talk on the web how could we be friends.
Yes I leave comments on your pictures and blog entries, I even send you personalize comments to your page, but it isn’t like you ever even responded to anything that I’ve sent you, but it’s ok, I understand that you are a very busy girl so don’t worry about it.
I’m just another guy waiting for my bus to arrive, it would be a fun experience if it was your bus that arrived and I could climb on board, but I seriously doubt that.
Maybe one day ill have my chance.
Hey, they say that hope is the last one to die, right?