My guess is that you, just like me, have tons of photos and videos on your smartphone. Some of us have so much media we don’t know what to do it. It accumulates one megabyte at the time hiding in what seems to be an infinite scroll. I’m one of those. I take a photo and forget to share it. Sometimes I get yelled at for taking too long to share a photo of a dinner party that happened… a year ago. If you take a boat trip with me, expect to see that awesome footage somewhere in 2,020. Anyhow, yesterday I decided to do a compilation of the one hundred or so clips I have on my phone. I used an app that compiles it automatically for me. I ran the app three times and then joined the resulting edits into a three-minute long video. What I discovered surprised me.


Originally published in HGAB Magazine

I found out I have tons of reasons to be grateful. I am lucky to be surrounded by people who love me. The video showed me people at my birthday party bringing me a cake. People sitting around with me and doing nothing. People taking me parasailing. People joining me on dives, boats, and floats. People listening to me. And more importantly, people wanting me to listen to them.

I am the type of person who works a lot. I am always busy, running around ideas in my head, finishing projects, starting new ones, and so on. I blame it on my vast array of interests. My longest project is a novel, for instance. Writing it has taken so much out of me. Countless weekends of seclusion away from the people that love me. Many refusals to attend parties (you wouldn’t want me there, anyway, taking photos I won’t share), and so on. In short, for the last couple of years I feel I have neglected my friends and family. This is the truth of the matter: To complete the projects I have, I had to neglect my friends and family.

To be honest, it made me feel guilty. I thought about them often, but I couldn’t do anything about it, except, in this case, write as fast as I could, complete it and hope they would still be around when I emerge to the surface again. So, when I created this video compilation I realized something important. I have somehow been able to make room for friends and family, after all. And more importantly, they stood by me in the process. I am surrounded by the people who love me, even when I didn’t feel quite there myself. For them, I am grateful.

The lesson here is a twist to a powerful quote by one of my favorite writers of my childhood:

If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they’re yours; if they don’t, they never were. – Richard Bach

My friends set me free to do what I needed to do. I went ahead and did it. I thought they would be gone, but now I see, they are still around. They must love me.

Think about it. Don’t be afraid to do what you must do, to be who you must be, for fear of losing what you already have. Don’t be afraid to lose your friends and the people that love you now to become the person you want to be tomorrow. The ones that truly love you now will love you tomorrow too.

So that was the first thing I noticed when I made this video. The second thing I noticed in this–I repeat, automatic video compilation–is that I am surrounded by boobs. To that, I am grateful too.