I may gripe about a lack of a social circle here in Toronto, but the good friends I do still have in Buffalo, NY, and Fargo, ND, only reinforce how awesome some of them are. Friends are the people you spend time & laughs with, wasting away the days with bliss, introspect, silliness, and consolation. Good friends are the ones who will put you back in your place, lest you stray too far beyond or short of your means.

A friend to remind me what shape the currency of my self–worth is really in: greatly depreciated. My self–image shouldn’t be short–changed for what it is; it’s worth more than I realize, and I need to accept & live with that. Realize it’s worth; accept that I’m really worth that; and most importantly, don’t let anyone haggle me down on it!

A friend to remind me where I can always find support:

“Just remember Buffalo still loves you.”

I have such a supportive network back there (Fargo & Minneapolis included), it’s not even funny. I wish I could find the time & energy to visit more often, but I’m torn between intriguing experiments & difficult assays, establishing myself more & more in Toronto (as I’ve got over two & a half years left to go), or taking the short’ish albeit sometimes cumbersome drive back down to Buffalo. Way shorter a trek than I ever took during my undergraduate years, although at that point I was trying to get away from my family back then. Regardless, Buffalo easily has some friends for life back there, so I can at least never feel too lonely!

A friend(s) to polish me up & realize what I’m worth. Some constructive & flattering criticisms illustrated points that I would have never openly recognized on my own, to dispel the delusions I had keeping myself down. It’s easy to be stuck laying on the floor, thinking you’ll never be anywhere above that, until some others catch you in the midst of it & are confused why you were even there in the first place. They offer that hand to help pick you up, dust you off, and remind you of where you belong in the grand scheme of things. I’m still in awe that I am kept in such esteem & regard. Thank you! It has done wonders to re–inflate my ego back to a more typical state!

I have been walking on Cloud 9 all week, despite running myself ragged a couple days (12–hour days are not my friend when commuting 8km each direction cycling). I have no idea if it shows, but I don’t care; I’m less paranoid about what others think of me and/or may judge me for. I am more comfortable & confident in my decisions, without second–guessing them. I am just all around more comfortable in my own skin1.

I can still revel in the autumnal bliss (at least until the sunset gets too early). I have no concerns going into the winter; let it come, let it try to keep me in. I’ll show it how to enjoy a winter in a new city!

Jesus, I hope that all didn’t sound ridiculously emo, hahaha…

1Ignoring the whole flabby skin bits from weight loss (carrying 60 extra pounds for 8 years has left its mark on my body), and frustrating back tension in my trapezius lately. I really should try to see a chiropractor or someone about the back tension once OHIP finally kicks in.

December 30 – Gift. This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year?

It wasn’t a big ticket emotional item, but I’m really glad to have connected more with an old high school acquaintance. She and I knew each other in high school, but never really hung out that much. The craziness that is Facebook1 reunited us in the casual context. However, after a few drunken chat sessions on there2, there was a realization that we connected pretty well. She and I both share a very practical, play-it-how-things-are approach to life, although I think she’s got the guts to act on it nearly whenever she wants. Granted, we don’t talk all the time or anything, but after crashing with her and her fiancé for a weekend back in Fargo, it was pretty obvious that she respects and cares for her friends that matter.

Thankfully, I am one of those friends. For as short as our friendship has been, she’s done a marvelous job of keeping it intact. She’s done a pretty good job of keeping in touch, but it cannot stay that way. This will be a friendship I’ll need to remember to work on to keep. We have to share that pro-active nature, being 1000-miles separated and such.

1It has the maddening and addicting quality of wanting to find out things about people in your past. Probably helps feed our need to feel vindicated in the decisions and choices we’ve made in life.
2Or even a couple phone calls. We have a tendency to get in touch with each other when we’re intoxicated (one or the other, if not both), and just go on about life, and just rant in general to reinforce each other.