I have a friend who started out in Atlanta, moved to New Orleans, and had to come back because her place in the French Quarter was smooshed by Hurricane Katrina. She is a free spirit, someone who easily slips into my life, then slips out of it just as easily. When we get back together, we’re continuing the conversation rather than starting a new one. I’ve known her since I started my junior year in college… and that’s been around 21 or 22 years (you lose track of time after a while). Kitty is what would be called a connector in Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point. She’s one of those awesome folks that I know, not just because of who SHE is, but because of the people that she’s given me.
In fact, if I were to figure out who’s shaped most of my adult life because of the connections that were made… she would be one of the two folks that have given me nearly everyone that I know. Indirectly or directly, she’s given me a mate, a place to stay, a kick ass CPA, a community, a religion, great conversations, and plenty of wild experiences. Because of her awesomeness, I’m willing to overcome my own personal shortcomings and bend the world to make sure that she’s kept happy. I’m sure that she’s not just that awesome for me.. she’s awesome in her breath, in her bones.. and gives everything of herself to her experiences – and that shines through and inspires others.
I’m sure that you have someone like Kitty in your life
It’s that whole concept of six degrees of separation that’s working here. Connectors bring other people together who would not normally have met, and well… they’ve met you at some point along the way. Connectors meet other connectors, and through that… well, the whole world is at the fingertips of someone who is paying attention to where the social networks are. That brings me back to the thing that I’m really wanting to talk about today.
So, I mentioned that because of the bond that I have with Kitty, and the love that I have for her, I would bend the will of the world to make sure that her needs are met. I’d drive to her aid on a moment’s notice, dropping everything along the way… just to make sure that she was safe. You might have that kind of loyalty for someone. The loyalty that says that you can overcome your fear, that you can conquer your own personal roadblocks to make sure that the other person is happy. Normally, this type of veneration is reserved for other people, for our connections… but what if that same sort of ‘do’ attitude was turned on ourselves?
Yeah, I’m talking to you.
We’re pretty damned happy in our comfort zones. We’ve got the job that we hate, but it’s the evil that we know. There’s the living situation which might not be the greatest. There’s the other stuff that might not be the best, but there’s a level of comfort. A level of comfort that is immediately blown out of the water when someone like Kitty makes that call. I like to call it the 3am call – the one which is the call to action. But… we’re not thinking about the alarm going off before that… we’re just living out our lives in the hopes that nobody notices. We’re trying to establish comfort, trying to make it as easy as possible… but to what end?
Are you loyal to yourself?
So, awesomeness begins with that sorta self love. You have to have a personal commitment to your fate and your enjoyment. And you have to be willing to accept scary, scary change. You have to be willing to accept failure as you accept your personal success. But it starts out with your personal loyalty. There’s nothing that happens that you don’t control, and you don’t want to hurt yourself.. and change holds up a sign which says that you don’t particularly know the outcome… and that’s scary as hell. But that loyalty, that loyalty to yourself for a happy life… well, that requires changing and growing, and trying to make your world a better place. You owe that same loyalty that you give to your Kitty to yourself.
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