I don’t usually share long winded stories on here but I feel compelled. This is a story of how profoundly and deeply our actions can impact someone’s life and we may never even know it. I recently reconnected with a very close friend from my teens and early twenties. He was so special to me. The second thing he shared with me when we got back in touch was that over twenty years ago, because I believed in him and encouraged him it changed the course of his life. I was barely legal to drink, just a young clueless girl and yet… He reminded me of an idea he had shared with me that related to the world of television production. He had no experience in this field. I told him to go for it and that I believed in him and I was going to help make that happen. I wanted to set up a meeting with him and Bill Campbell at ABC affiliate in Chicago. Those of you that know Chicago would know of Bill. He was an on air personality/host/ TV journalist and my father’s best friend. They worked together at ABC. My father directed and stage managed his shows. Although my father had already passed away a few years prior, Bill and I were still close. So I called Bill and set up a meeting (me, this little girl…as if) and we went downtown to ABC studios when it was still on State St. and took a meeting with him. My friend shared with me that because of that small gesture and my unwavering faith in him and Bill’s encouragement it changed the course of his life. The project did not manifest but that was no matter. It fundamentally changed who he was. He said it gave him the power to follow his dreams. And he has…for the last twenty years. And he is brilliant at it. I did not have any recall of this story but my friend never forgot. And yet when I remembered this story I also remembered so many other stories of my life. How special Bill was to me, more memoires of my father, memories of being dragged all over Chicago to hang out and listen to my Dad and Bill play weird African Jazz music together, memories of how I practically lived at ABC studios growing up and had free run of the entire place. Memories of how fragile and fragmented I was after all my losses and yet I still could be brazen and brave out in the world in spite of my fragility; How terrified and also brave I was to go back into my second home (ABC studios) for that meeting. It had been 5 years since I entered that building before the day of our meeting. I was 16 and cleared out my father’s locker when he was too sick to continue working. I knew I was saying goodbye to so much that day as I walked out seemingly never to return.
Going to visit Bill with my friend 20 years ago fundamentally changed my friend’s life but his sharing of that story today fundamentally changed mine. He gifted me back memories that half a lifetime ago were too painful to hold on to. He gifted me back our amazing friendship. He gifted me a continuity and a sense of SELF that no amount of therapy or mantra could impart. He allowed to see that I am still fragile and terrified but also strong and fearless. I am both and that is ok. He gifted me the ability to see how far I’ve come. But the funny thing…I am also still that girl telling myself and others to follow our dreams and finding ways to make that happen. This is what I do, I am compelled and it has served me and others. It doesn’t always make for an easy life but when you hear that you have profoundly impacted someone’s life because you just couldn’t help yourself…well that makes for a rich life and one worth living. We cannot fathom how or when the ripple of time and intention may touch our lives… So remember live brave and from the heart because we are all connected in ways beyond our knowing. If you live from your heart, somehow, someway, somewhen it comes back to you ten fold. And for this I have my friend to thank. Deepest gratitude and love to you…Thank you!