Bastille’s Bad Blood and Friendship

I really enjoy the song Bad Blood by Bastille. It’s not the most amazing song out there but for some reason it really strikes a cord with me. I think it has to do with the course about how tightly things in our past bind us together. It reminds me of some of the stuff that ended up happening when I was younger. Things that when you have a meet up of those people that you end up talking about. One of them is a time when a friend and I were standing outside of Sheetz early in College. We were bullshitting with the woman working and she was really tired of working complaining about work. Well, my friend has a bit of an anarchist bent (or at least did) and said, yea we should just blow it the fuck up. He and she finished their cigarettes and we drove off thinking nothing more of it. A few days later I get a phone call asking about the terroristic threats. Which obviously didn’t happen.

Aside from events like that it also reminds me of all the people that I’ve lost through stupid things. One kid we wrote off after he didn’t show up for a bachelor party or the afterwedding party at the Cabin – he was the best man. We were pretty upset about it. However, some times you lose friends because of other friend’s disagreements. I’m thinking about two of the best buddies I knew in highschool and up through their argument. I’m not even sure of the details because it happened while I was in Europe and no one really talked to me about it other than saying not to talk to either of them about it.

This sucks. Our lives are both too short and too long to leave things things festering. We only have one life and we need to make the best of it. So in the case where a fight ruptures a friendship like that and impacts all relationships with each other, that’s something that needs to be dealt with. It’s one of those things that could very likely lead to a great deal of regret as we get older. When we’re in our 50s or 60s do we want some squabble to have ruined a great friendship? I don’t know.

Song just makes me really think about how our lives are bound together through collective stupidity in youth and how those are the strongest bonds you have. How, bad blood can poison a group of friends, and how some times we really do just need time to heal.

On being an interesting person

This weekend I was hanging out with a friend talking about different life experiences. She argued that I was an interesting person and she was boring, when I said “he who dies with the most stories wins.” I can safely attribute 90% of my stories are not because of me, they are because of who I surrounded myself with – intentionally or otherwise. I think I’m a pretty boring person to be honest.

One of things that I’ve done through my life is to put myself into a position where I can grow as a person. To do this I’ve done a combination of playing it safe but making decisions that allowed me to meet new people. For example when I went to Pitt a big group of my friends went there with me. However, I decided to live with new people and ended up living on a floor with all engineers. Which allowed me to meet a ton of new people as well as hang out with my old friends from high school. This choice had a pretty significant impact on my social life and likely enabled many of the craziest of stories that have happened at my places. I met 2 guys my freshman year that led me to meeting the 5 girls I lived with where my HS buddies and our extended group of friends really did some crazy things.

After graduating I again decided to do something different than most of my friends. I moved to Austin. I had 4 job offers and I decided to pick the job that was in the best city with the largest number of people that would be my age starting – this is the main reason I picked Samsung. Because of this choice I met some awesome people and some really interesting opportunities in Austin and met my beautiful unicorn of a wife.

This decision then led me to the Netherlands, which was a practical choice for a Master’s because it was so much cheaper than studying here in the US. While there I was put with a range of interesting people and I got to learn a lot about Pakistan, Colombia, Turkey, Netherlands, and the rest of Europe. I’ve spent a lot of time around people with very different backgrounds, life expectations, the definition of a good life, and all of that. These have influence how I think and helped me become a more interesting person because of these experiences.

Now after moving back from the Netherlands I eventually ended up in Portland because of my wife’s job. I’m again putting myself in a new situation and growing and learning a lot of new skills.

If I’m at all interesting, it’s because of the people around me that have influenced me. I think that for anyone in highschool, college, or without kids take advantage of spending time in Europe for school or some other country. You’ll learn a lot about yourself and meet people with some fantastic different perspectives on life. If you can’t or don’t want to get another degree at least spend some time working over there. In many cases you’ll get special benefits being a knowledge worker and help learning about the culture and language while you’re there.

Go out an meet new people and try to learn new hobbies. This is really hard being an introvert. I know that because I am one. It’s even more important that you force yourself to do it. Not every day, but at least once or twice a month try to get out and meet new people and try new things – especially when you’re in a new area. I’m currently struggling with this and I’ve fallen into a routine of watching my friend from High school stream on twitch.

So, try to surround yourself with people you find interesting. Because of them, you’ll have interesting stories and through keeping a networks of interesting people you’ll be a “structural hole” in all of their networks to keep sharing new and interesting ideas to them. These all make you a more interesting person. That’s what I’ve done to be the person I am today. If i’m interesting, it’s because my friends are interesting, not because I am. I’ve written about the value of friendship on here before, and this is why it’s so valuable to me.

The power of friendship

Today on the Max I was unfortunate enough to hear a rather depressing conversation. During rush hour if two people are talking next to you and you don’t have headphones on you don’t really have much choice (I keep forgetting to bring mine). The conversation started out innocently enough talking about a guy that they both thought was good looking. Then it shifted to insulting the man’s girlfriend saying she wasn’t really attractive. Shortly there after the cuter of the two girls just cuts into the other one. It was absolutely brutal. I looked up from my book at that point and it looked like this girl was about to cry. Over the course of my life I’ve had a lot of female friends and I can say it was the first time I’d heard anything so unexpected, brutal, and uncaring. The girl saying this was commenting about the other girls face and how plain and simple it was because she never wore make up and didn’t know how to wear it anyway. Of course, the one making these comments was wearing plenty.

I can say that I’ve never had friends like that. This has really made me appreciate all the friends that I’ve had over the course of my life. I’ve had to say good-bye to so many because I’ve moved around several times. In some cases it’s been easier to keep in contact than others, but all of them have had a huge impact on my life. It’s my friends (wife included obviously as my best friend), that really make me work to become a better person. Dan of KBMOD fame has been and continues to be one of the major inspirations for my blogging. My friends over in The Netherlands encouraged me to write and really enjoyed it as well.

It’s because of these people that I’ve been successful and hopefully continue to be. In my most recent move in the US, I’m really beginning to realize how lucky I’ve been with my friends so far. They are fantastic people. I’ve been in Portland for 4 months now and this has been the hardest I’ve had with making new friends. Partially this is my fault because of where I live and how little time I have after work. Partially, it’s a lot of work to find people that you really want to be around. In a place where you have no family, it’s your friends that become your support network. Building the right kind of network is tough.

Friends are such a powerful influence in our lives and I think we underappreciate them too much. I’m glad my friends are who they are and I’m really glad I don’t have vicious negative people in my life. It would make life much less enjoyable to be around people that hurt you because they can.

Thanks for being who you are, you jerks.