“The only people for me are the mad ones…” – Jack Kerouac, On the Road

What the hell was up with today? Our store was jamming, the store across the street was beyond packed, and I had to run to another store this afternoon and that store was insanity. Is it because Mother’s Day is tomorrow? Because the weather was absolute shit (snow in May? Get out of here with that noise)? Or was it the full moon?

I have no idea, but I don’t care to repeat today by having another one tomorrow.

I know that I start a lot of posts this way, but I was thinking today about my friends. I don’t think that there’s a “normal” one in the bunch. Between careers, hobbies, interests, personality quirks, mental illness, whatever. We’re all at least just a little weird in our own way. I think that’s what makes us all fit together so well. Our quirks and weirdness all play well together. And honestly? I don’t think that I could be friends with “normal” people. Most of them are just too boring. And by this I mean the people that like to act like they’re totally normal and they completely fit in, even though they’re really not that normal. I like people that let their freak flag fly and are proud of who they are.

It’s always funny when you meet someone new. I don’t know about you, but I always seem to have a mantra of “please don’t think I’m weird” going through my head. Many people do think that I’m weird, and for the most part that’s fine. I probably don’t want to be friends with those people anyway.

But I’ve realized that each of my friends adds something to my life – the ability to talk about anything and everything, someone to nerd out about some random fandom with, someone who gets my weird references to stupid trivia or fandoms or whatever it is I’m on about, someone who likes the same music that I do to go to concerts with and have a good time, someone to drink with and get into shenanigans with, someone to talk to about what’s going on with me or them mentally.

My friends are my true family. They’re the people that I turn to, that I lean on, that I support.

I love my family, but they don’t get me. I feel like to them I’m an odd curiosity that they keep around like a favored pet because it amuses them and they’re never quite sure what I’m going to do next. I know that I can rely on them, and I know that they love me, but… sometimes we have a hard time relating to each other. To be honest, as much as they don’t get me, I don’t get them. The feeling is definitely mutual.

I like to think that you can tell the kind of person someone is by the kind of people that they surround themselves with. That their friends can give you a glimpse into who that person is, something they might not admit to or even know about themselves. Look at the people that they love – romantic love, familial love, friendly love. I can tell you the things that I like or the things that I’m passionate about, but if you look at my friends you could probably glean a lot more about me.

It’s always been my hope that I would be a positive impact on the world. For years I assumed that that would be due to my work in science, or something I do in my volunteer hours. But I’m starting to realize as I get older that the biggest impact I could ever have is on the lives of other people. Do I make their lives better in some way? Do I enrich them? Do I make their time on this planet better?

Those are the questions that I ask myself.

Ok – here’s an example. Last night an older woman came into the store needing help in many different areas. I helped her for about a half an hour, she told me that her husband was in the hospital and this was the first time she had really had to do any of this by herself. By the time she and I had finished up she seemed like she was in better spirits. I’d like to think that I had a positive impact on her day, even if it only lasted for a little bit.

That’s the legacy that I want to leave. I would hope that when I die my funeral will be attended by my nearest and dearest, and instead of being sad, they’re laughing about the hi-jinks that we got up to and all of the good times we had. I hope that clusters of my friends who may have never met are sharing stories and making each other laugh and saying “oh my God, that’s so her.”

Funny story – so in my last post I talked about wondering what life would have been like if I had made any multitude of choices differently. Kind of randomly I had just that conversation with a good friend of mine yesterday. We were laughing about the fact that if things had ended up differently, he and I very well might have gotten together. And then I pointed out that if things had gone differently we probably never would have met. At the end of the day, at least in terms of that one small facet of my life that things did go the way that they did because he’s a really good friend, and we both rely on each other for a lot.

It’s been an interesting week. I hope next week is more of the same of deep conversations and small moments that I’ll remember for a long time.

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