My blog is about the scenic, stressful, spectacular life (and everything screwy in between) of a
California girl turned expat transplanted to the land down under: North Queensland, Australia.

October 07, 2010

Day 7.

The question today is:

Day 7: Someone who has made your life worth living.

Now, I had to get clearance on this one from my husband-not because he’s a jealous overprotective ass, but because he reads my blogs and I didn’t want him to get butt-hurt if I chose someone other than him. Of course my husband is my life. He made me realize that I’m loveable, no matter how crazy I can be. But if I really have to pick someone who truly “made my life worth living”, it would be my best friend SS. Without him as my “life coach” I probably wouldn’t be alive right now.

 Shaun! This is him. No, he’s not a cartoon!

I met SS in 2001 when me and my then-boyfriend moved next to him and his then-girlfriend. He and my ex had video games in common, and one day SS came to my door looking for him. He wasn’t home, so SS and I made conversation and realized we had a lot in common (or something like that). Eventually he and I became friends and would go out together for dinner-much to the disappointment of my ex, who liked SS but truly had nothing in common with him. At the time my ex and I were “engaged”, and SS would ask me why I felt it necessary to marry someone at such a young age (he was a year older than me, but his soul is like, 42). I told him he didn’t understand, that we were in love, that we wanted to settle down and have a family, blah blah blah. Eventually the ex and I split up (THANK JEEBUS), but SS and I stayed close friends.

Close friends…friends with benefits…really close friends, you know what I mean. Only he was different from well, anyone I’d ever known. He didn’t play games. He didn’t keep score. We would have these extremely long conversations and instead of being a listener, he was almost like a counsellor. He asked me questions and made me really think about who I am, why I did the things I did. There were times in the beginning of our friendship where I would get mad and throw a little girl tantrum, and he would have no part of it. He refused to placate me or give me attention (I was pretty bratty), and eventually I stopped throwing fits because I knew it wouldn’t work. I had to start using my big girl words to get across how I was feeling or why I was angry.

This was also one of those weird periods in both of our lives where we were both pretty vulnerable: I was getting out of an almost four-year relationship and back at my parents’ house; he had broken his leg in a motorcycle accident and was having major complications. He’ll never admit this, but at that time we needed each other. After about six months I realized I loved him. I was up front and told him, and the four words he told me will haunt me forever: “You’re not girlfriend material”. He said I had too many issues within myself to work on, that I wasn’t interested in the world around me. At the time I was crushed and angry, but looking back (oh, bittersweet hindsight), he was 100% right. I was still the kind of girl that would change everything for a guy, so I started getting into the things that he enjoyed: Current events, politics, history, fishing, kickboxing, video games. Instead of just getting into them, I realized I loved them too, with or without him around. I cared about my world, not just the world of Brangelina. I’m very proud to say I was a poll taker in the historic 2004 presidential election. He and I would fish for hours, and I was excited to go to Bass Pro Shops and read the fishing reports. I lost forty pounds kickboxing and eating around him-he was diabetic and pretty disciplined about not eating sugary foods; I always needed dessert after a meal. I would want to order cheesecake, and he would tell me, “that’s what a fat girl eats”. Okay, I know that’s pretty damn harsh, right? But I’m the kind of person that needs the truth and not to be poo-pooed around. SS was the person to introduce me to World of Warcraft-we would play for hours together. If it wasn’t for him, I would have never met my husband…who I met playing WoW. (I hate typing that by the way-makes me feel like a mutant!)

After I broke up with my ex, I tried hard to follow my dream of working with make-up, and ended up getting a job in men’s fragrances at Robinson’s-May (it was still the “cosmetics department”!). Later I got a job at Macy’s working for the Japanese luxury brand Shiseido (which I freaking LOVE), but it was only 13 hours a week. While I was looking for another job to actually pay the rent I stumbled across a counter manager job for Clarins at Nordstrom. My goal was to one day become a counter manager, but I wasn’t good enough to be one-especially at Nordstroms. SS told me, “what’s the harm in trying?” After a small pep talk I called Nordy’s and spoke to the cosmetics counter manager, and got an interview! Okay, not only an interview-I got the job!!! I was floored. Never in a million years would I have thought I would get my foot in the door in cosmetics, especially a counter manager! I was sad to leave Macy’s because I really liked my team and LOVED Shiseido. When I gave my two week notice, my manager counter-offered the Nordstrom pay, fired my Shiseido counter manager and gave the job to me!

For the next few years we were off and on, but always friends. He gave me the courage to move out on my own for the first time, and supported me emotionally whenever I needed it. We were both young, and both only had a few relationships under our belt, and he was antsy to make sure he had the chance to date and get out there before ever settling down. Even though I thought he would be “The One”, I started dating too and started talking to my current husband. I always believe things happen for a reason. SS is going to be a father early next year. I live in Australia. If, in 2005 you were to ask me where we would both be in 2010, those would definitely not be the answers I gave.

He’s still my voice of reason. I texted him earlier this week that I was homesick and he asked why I was so upset. I told him the usual, and he replied, “nonsense, break it down, what are the issues?” and he text-counselled me. Typical SS. Now I am much more aware of myself. My good, my bad, my depression, my strengths, my weaknesses. When friends come to me crying or needing advice, I don’t poo-poo them anymore, either. I tell them what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. Nothing comes out of that. I still have my (many) moments of despair, times where nothing feels like it’s getting better and the why-am-I-here feelings, but now I’m able to (usually) pull myself out of those funks and remember that tomorrow is another day. I honestly feel if I didn’t have someone like him in my life I wouldn’t be the person I am now.


  1. Isn't it fascinating how the universe/god/great spirit/whoever sends what we need to us when we need it? SS came into your life when you needed him most and that's a good thing. Its so nice to see you growing into the girl you always could be. Props to you!
    auntie R

  2. What a wonderful best friend to have.
    I agree with Running rabbit that the universe provides who/what we need in our lives. Next time you feel a bit cross because he made you face the truth, reread this post. Hugs :)

  3. I have a friend like this too. However we did not go as far as friends with benefits (however we wanted to, just when the other wasn't interested and vice versa). He's now my brother in-law. I think to myself, if it wasn't for him where would I be? Certianly would not have found my hubby and had my daughter.


  4. The world needs more SS's. My husband Rich was just like SS. If I was having a bad day he would talk to me about it. Hash it out with me and teach me to analyze things before "flipping out". I had a really short fuse and a really bad temper when I was younger. Now...Bruce gets upset with me because I don't panic over things like he does. haha. That's a compliment. And I think Hed that SS gave you that gift as well. Your hubby owes a lot to SS because he wouldn't love you for being who you are and SS had a big part in that. I agree with Mynx who said to re-read this post if you are having a bad day.