Tuesday, September 08, 2009


Today was a slow day at work. Okay that's a lie, it was a very busy day at work. But nothing blogworthy happened in my eight hours there. I didn't even lose my patience, nor did I lose my temper with anyone today. That makes for a slow blog day. So I've been sitting at my computer for roughly 30 minutes, pondering what I should write about.

It's at times like this that I turn to my friend Nicole. I'll send a quick text message, asking for a suggestion. There are some days when she's just as unable to come up with a subject as I am. But there are other days when she's able to come up with something that drives away the writer's block.

Tonight, her suggestion was to write about her. But not a simple biography. Her suggestion was to explore what an amazing friend she is, how she has inspired and taught me much about life over the past two years, and how I am a better person for having known her.

Now, I wasn't sure how to expand upon that. Everything in the above paragraph is true. But my challenge comes in saying something new. Because, what is there to say about her, or any of the Greene family for that matter, that hasn't been said before.

When I first moved to North Carolina, I was surprised to find that I had a family readily provided for me. And when I say family, I mean that in every sense of the word, the good and the bad. Nicole is every bit as much a sister to me as the girl I grew up in the same house with. That's my sister, April, for those of you keeping up with the family tree.

But I don't just think of Nicole as a sister but also a friend. For me, those are hard to come by. And I admit, that's totally my fault. I'm not good at making friends. A lot of times, I'm not that good at even relating to people. So when I find the few people who can stand to be around me for more than 10 minutes at a time, I tend to latch on. It takes a special kind of person to be able to deal with my brand of sarcasm and cynicism without losing their own minds. Nicole is one of those rare people.

I also have a hard time empathizing with people. That's mostly because I have a hard time dealing with my own emotions. Should I, then, be expected to deal with others' emotions as well? But since I think of Nicole as family, I'm happy when she's happy, I'm angry when she's angry, I cry when she cries. Okay, let's not go too crazy. I don't cry.

And when that earlier paragraph says she's taught me a lot about life over the last two years, it's also true. I've learned a lot about how families work and how individuals in a family relate to one another. I've learned what to expect and what to hope for. I've learned that I'm actually not as bad a person as I tend to think of myself. Otherwise, why would I continually find myself being invited to the Greenehouse? I mean, there are five kids there. I must not be that bad of an influence.

I moved down here for seminary. But once I got here I realized that wasn't really the reason I moved down here. I moved down here to be a friend and a brother. Recently I've wondered how much longer it will be until I outlive my usefulness. Ryan, Nicole's actual brother, is back in the States after two years in Austria. So that surrogate brother role I've been playing might be coming to an end. Sometimes I wonder if the day will come that I find I've become obsolete.

But until that day comes, if that day comes, I'll continue to be the best friend that I know how to be. I know it's not much. Nicole and any of my friends may feel that they're getting the raw end of that deal, but that's all I can promise.

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