Regardless of the mental space, you are currently occupying, if you pause to look back on the past year there is a person who helped you get where you are today. Stories of self-made men are myths. Tales of those who pull themselves up by their bootstraps are leaving out important people. Behind each and every one of us is a person or group of people cheering.
Year after year, I do my best to recognize a person who has had my back in the last year. I do this because we all deserve to know how we make other people feel. People need to be thanked, appreciated, and recognized. With this in mind, My 2017 Person of the Year is Tim Hendrix.
The story of Brandon and I moving to Los Angeles is a story I have told and continue to tell. What most people don’t realize is the number of things that had to go right for us to make this transition. We needed to move out of our place, transport our stuff down the coast, leave our jobs on a high note, let friends, family, and groups we belonged to know we were moving, look for jobs, find a place to live, unpack, establish ourselves in this community, and for Brandon, survive surgery. Moreover, we had to do so while being apart for two months (for financial reasons, I came down first on Sept. 1 and Brandon came the last week of October). Without a doubt, this was the most trying period of our two-year relationship. There were lots of tears and plenty of fear. Being separated from the one you love is never easy. Doing it while trying to move is damn near impossible.
Yet, we made it. We made it because of friends like Tim Hendrix. Tim and JR allowed me to live in their guest bedroom for two months. JR is a flight attendant for Alaska Airlines and was gone often, so Tim and I had a lot of time together. He provided support as I applied for jobs and interviewed. He cheered me on as I began looking for homes. He pulled out his credit card more than I can count because he knew money was tight for us. He counseled as Brandon and I struggled through the transition. For two months, he was the very epitome of friendship; a friendship I will be eternally grateful to call my own.
Without a place to stay, a refuge and home base, I don’t know how this move could have happened. Of the long list of things, we needed to go right, this was the biggest. Tim and JR offered their home without hesitation and I will never be able to repay them for that, though I will try.
Over the course of my life, I have been lucky to count a great many people as friends. These friends come in all shapes, sizes, beliefs, and political stripes. Each and everyone of them has shaped me into the man I am today. I have several hopes for each of these friendships but the biggest has to do with visible impact. When my friends look at me, I hope they see the impact they have had on my life. I don’t think there is a better gift I could give beyond a being a visible representation of someone’s love and kindness. My hope, as it is every year, is that I have done the same things.
Be good to each other,
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