Friends are such an important part of our lives. I was Instant Messaging (IMing) with a dear friend, Sam, today.
Sam and I met eight years ago when we were both Traffic Coordinators for nbcolympics.com, working on the Sydney Games. We had mirror shifts of one another, meaning that he had the night shift of our job and I had the day shift. Since the Olympics were in Australia, and we were in San Francisco, and the two countries are twelve hours difference, our coverage was 24 hour. I worked 7am to 8pm, and Sam worked from 7pm to 8am. In the hour that we overlapped, we gave each other a total run down on where our news stories were in the production process, and handed off our shift. It was intense, crazy, mind boggling. It went on for three weeks straight, including weekends. You can see a little video about our whole team on You Tube! (And yes, we're both in that video. Can you find me?)
What happened very quickly with Sam and I was that we had to trust one another, completely. We had to ask questions about production, and each of us had to take those questions in stride, without ego or emotions getting in the way. We had to be open, honest, and direct. And, we both had to care about the stories enough, and be dedicated enough, that things didn't fall through the cracks.
Sam and I are still fast friends, and we're lucky that we had that zany experience. He and I were "forced" to develop the framework of honest and open dialog and now we talk about anything and everything and feel safe doing so. What's funny and amazing about it all is that today he apologized for "rambling." And all I could say was "When you and I ramble, I feel like we stumble upon the profound. And that is what I love about us."
It's funny how friends come along, and funny who stays in your life. I'm grateful for those friends who pull out the best in me, who force me to be honest about myself, who make me laugh so hard when I need to laugh. It's wonderful when these people can be accepting of who I am, respect what my life is about, and support me. It's my hope that I can be the same for them, a mirror of their friendship, and a link in their chain of support.
Do you have friendships that were forged in unusual ways? What have those people taught you in your path?