THANK YOU. No really, thank you.

Every once and awhile its important to thank those who’ve helped you in getting you to where you are today. There are innumerable little things that people do for you, both big and small, good and bad — that all push us to become our truest self.

In my case, I’ve always been able to lean on the support of my wonderful family. I like to call that them safety net: even though I still go off the rails and make ridiculous decisions at times, they’ve always been there for me. Not to mention they put up with my increasingly crazy antics and crazy persona. Family is something I place great intrinsic value on, although I realize some people may find it a burden at times.

Which segues nicely into my friends. I’ve got a few damn fine friends. I can count them on two hands, sure, but friends like those will be with you though thick and thin, no matter how much muck you have to wade through to get to the other side. It doesn’t really matter whether you have one friend or one hundred, but having those close bonds is a necessity for an authentic, fulfilling existence. Being able to share yourselves with others is worth its weight in gold.

Romantic relationships are a whole different ballgame, and there’s an added layer of complexity that family and friends simply don’t measure up to. Not because they’re more or less valuable, because they all have a place in your heart. True closeness to another human being is something we all crave, however, and that deep emotional bond is something you should hold onto if/when you happen upon it. “Love” is a loaded term, and society likes to manufacture ideas of what a relationship should look like. Don’t let labels define you. In the end, just being able to be yourself with the person you care about and enjoy a sense of closeness with someone else is an indescribable feeling.

I’ve been “blessed” to have more than a few mentors that’ve changed the course of my life by enabling me to navigate around pitfalls. These people hardly need to be named, because they know who they are, but: MacMillan, Hitch, Pereira, Topalian, Piumetti, Smith, Tompkins, JR, Fagandus, VanBuren,. I hope to continue to be able to rely on the support of these wonderful people. I know I can never truly repay them for all they’ve done for me, but I hope they can continually be paid dividends for their belief in me.

A few authors have been kind enough to keep in touch with me. Being able to interact with a community of writers has been incredibly invaluable. All the little conversations and strings of emails are, in the end, very formative for my writing career as a whole. I’m very lucky to have a few people such as this that’ll bother to deal with my propensity to be longwinded.

And, finally, there are those people such as yourselves that’ve taken the time to read this far into my excessively long thank you note. My readers, supporters, and periphery people — you should certainly introduce themselves if the opportunity permits.

Originally published at Derek Edgington.

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