A Letter To My Gang

(Both Physical and Virtual)

Gang,

I want to say thank you to those of you that offered words of support and encouragement to me through various mediums yesterday. I’m still struggling a bit today but I know I’ll be ok. An extra special thanks to those of you who offered to beat the shit out of the recruiter but for legal reasons I have to ask that you continue to stand down. To those that offered other means of practical help, I still don’t feel like dealing with it today but I will most likely reach out on Monday.

A job is important for any number of reasons but I have to keep reminding myself that it isn’t really the means by which to measure my personal value. Though I know I will be good at and find fulfillment in whatever form my career ultimately takes, for now. I take the most comfort in the fact that people know and believe that I am a good person. Although that makes me sound a bit like an old Al Franken SNL character, it’s true. I would love to have material success, the wife and kids and such things but when I die I want the primary conversations to revolve around phrases like “I really liked him”, “He was always there for me,” or “Man, we always laughed a lot”

This is why I devote myself to a life of service whether I am getting paid for it or not. Simply, I cherish all the people in my life. Many of you have probably heard me use the phrase “I don’t do casual friendships,”, what I mean but this is that once I establish a connection with someone I tend to care very deeply about them. This is as true of those I may have only known for a few years or someone I may know primarily through social media as it is of those I have known for decades. The primary part of any relationship is spending time together, sharing mutual interests, and plain old having fun but one of the true honors of my life is when one of you seek me out when things are not ok in ways that range from the daily annoyances of modern life to things are deeply personal and serious. My 24/7 phone/open door policy is not lip service. Sometimes all I can realistically do is try and make you laugh but I take tremendous pride in the fact that those that have me in their life will never ever suffer or struggle alone.

Unfortunately, none of us superheroes and so I equally cherish that so many of you are there for me when I am struggling. My primary reason for living will always be my immediate family but I live for and because of so many of you as well. We all struggle and it’s important to be open about this and that is the primary reason why, even at the risk of over sharing, my social media narrative will never be one solely of triumph and victories but truly the good, the bad, and the ugly, of my life. I know some of those in my life oppose this position but I remind them that this previous statement does not imply in any way that I believe ALL things are fit for public consumption. Rest assured there a lot of things about me you guys still don’t know. I share my stories because I feed off of your encouragement but also because of times when you have contacted me and said something like “Hey I’m struggling with this too, thanks for giving a voice to it that I can’t”. You can also rest assured that the jokes will never disappear from my public musings as so many of you have told me I make you laugh everyday. The ability to laugh is essential to enduring struggle.

You may believe that there are things in my make up or experiences that better equip me to survive life’s adversities and while that may be true to some extent, the biggest reason I am able to continue to fight through all of life’s roadblocks is because I know I have an army of people behind me waiting to pick me up when I run out of gas. All of you are that army and I am forever grateful for you as well as for the times you’ve let me serve in your own ranks.

Forever yours in service, gratitude, and love,

Chris