Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I want to write a post really quickly because I just got off the phone with my friend from college and this whole blog was really started for me to write down what I'm grateful for so that when I feel down...I can look at all the things that I have in my life and not take them for granted.

Back to my friend...I've called her Chuck forever....that's nowhere close to her real name. It started because when I met her, her screenname on AOL was buttchuck and some numbers.

ButtChuck. Yes.

Chuck and I were on a staff together and when I first met her, I had a suspicion that she was not quite...umm...normal. She used "chuck" as a verb, an adjective and a noun. Someone could be a "chuck" as a term of endearment for her. If you were acting "chuckley," you were possibly in trouble. And, of course, someone could "chuck something" by throwing it. If you were exhibiting exceptionally poor behavior, you were being a "buttchuck."

She was an honors student and with that came a love of history, a slight air of being smarter than everyone else and a quirky sense of humor. I was older and had 'my own circle' of friends and didn't really try to get to know her. To make a long story short, Chuck and I got off to a pretty rocky start. We ended up having a verbal argument in the middle of a dining hall on campus and then she proceeded to push every button with me that she could. She officially "Mommed" me. Only my mother can push my buttons like Chuck did that day. Ironically, rather than making me angrier...I grew to respect her. It took guts to stand up to me and put me in my place and make me see her side of things. I appreciated that.

Chuck and I soon became good friends. Best friends. She's one of the 4 or 5 women in my life that I would do absolutely anything for.

Many of our mutual accquaintances still think that she's a little odd. Offbeat...kind of awkward. But, few, have any idea how much I absolutely admire her ability to take risks and how strong she is.

After she graduated, she took out a loan that I suspect is somewhere near 15k to take an internship in Washington D.C with an internationally ranked PR firm. She left her familiy in Ohio, and moved to DC to live with a stranger. She worked 80 hour weeks for a year with no guarantee that she would get anything out of this arrangement. She excelled because she's brilliant and she's got a kind of fierce drive and determination that I will never have. She got a full time position with this firm and worked with them for a year. I'm fairly certain that she was on the fast track to move up in the company, but, on a company trip to Lousiana she met a friend of a friend's for dinner. They started a long distance relationship shortly thereafter and she fell in love and married him a little over a year after they met. Her husband is 17 years older than she is and an officer in the National Guard...He seeks out active deployment, yet another risk that I would never ever take. But, she makes it work. They currently live with her husband's father in a beautiful old home on the family's ancient property.

Yes, you heard right....she moved to a town in Louisiana that is over an hour away from any PR company. She just trusted that everything would be okay. And it is...she may not like her current job much, but she has people calling her and offering her freelance work because she marketed herself and put herself out there as an expert. And she is one.

Another thing that I truly admire about her is that she has done the ultimate healthy life change. When she moved to DC she felt that she was getting very unhealthy and she started running. If you knew her in college, you would know that physical activity was anathema to this girl. She would play racquetball...and that was about it. Sweat? NO WAY. But, she started running. She built herself up and ran a 5k, then a 10k. She now has 6 marathons under her belt and is becoming active in a national marathon training program sponsored by Jeff Galloway the olympian. She's even oranizing her own marathon in her town.

I don't do risk well. I don't do the shaky little limb on the smallest branch of the tree well. But Chuck does...and I hope that I can take little steps to be more like her. I'm very proud to be her friend and I hope that she knows that.

I still don't REALLY think she's normal...but, sometimes, I think that we could all be a little less normal and a little more "Chuckley."

3 Things:
Chuck's kind of teaching me how to actually run more than a mile....no marathons for this girl, but, anything's better than nothing
When I do take a risk....I have an amazing support network of friends and family as a safety net.
That I'm learning to take risks and not completely freak out when I feel the limb start to shake.

1 comment:

Blue said...

lovely tribute and record of your friendship! she's lucky to have such a wonderful friend in her life, too.

thanks for the book recommendations. we hadn't heard of them and after looking online, i can see why you thought of them after seeing her art. i'd love to get the original art versions for her...apparently the reprinted (newer) pubs are "updated" and haven't the same charm as the original (eg: they redid the pictures and changed the name from "Dick" to "Rich") it's on the "after these uncertain economic times" to-buy list. ;-)


Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you. Princess Diana

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