It’s time for me to open up about my best and closest guy friend from high school. He had grown up in the same school district all his life. I started my kindergarten days there, moved, and returned in middle school.
We didn’t really get to know each other or become friends ’til our senior year of high school.
He’s worth noting because he’s been one of my biggest influences on my walk with Christ next to my Dad and Grandma. He also has been the most life-changing crush I had when it comes to guys.
Yes, I did mention the word crush and if I had never had a crush on him we would never have developed an amazing friendship. He was the best crush I ever had because he was straight forward and said no, but we still developed a strong friendship, in spite of him turning down a potential dating relationship with me.
In addition to being a Godly influence on me, he’s a talented writer and creative personality. I will include the links to his creative word at the end of this post.
Our friendship really began after we graduated from high school. It had been developing progressively since Spring, but really deepened over that summer. As I mentioned earlier, he’s a creative personality and often times creativity breeds creativity. I would cite him as an influence in developing my own websites and sharing my writing.
One creative endeavor he launched was in the Spring of our senior year. He developed and produced his own self-made quote books, with each individual quotebook being personalized to each of the friends he gave it too. To this day it’s one of the best quote books I’ve ever read and remains a staple on my bookshelf along with his second book of quotes. His first book published book is sitting on my parents’ bookshelf at their house, (I have to purchase another copy for myself), and I still need to purchase his second. (Sorry, Tommy, my book of books to read is starting to get longer and longer!)
Another creative endeavor he’s pursued are short videos. Our senior year he wrote a script for our World History video project and we worked with other classmates to edit our footage. You could call this project his springboard into creating videos and video editing.
In short, my best guy friend started out bringing out my more creative side. A side that I didn’t get to share often because I was often too busy with other life activities.
As far as his influence on my walk with Christ, I started seeing him emerge as a spiritual leader in our high school class our senior year. At Baccalaureate he gave his testimony, which gave me greater insight as to who he was and how his walk with Christ developed. This led me to see him from that point forward the influence that Christ had on his life.
Did I mention that he tried his hand at stand up comedy? I know quite a shift from walking with Christ, but it goes to show how creative and unafraid he was to try different things. At our high school talent show senior year he made up his own routine and performed it. He had us all in stitches that night.
The best part about the summer after we graduated from high school was our e-mails back and forth to each other. The course I of study I was taking started about a week after graduation and was the most difficult and eye-opening academic experience I’ve had to date. However, his cheerful, upbeat, positive e-mails filled with funny anecdotes, encouragement, and just saying he would pray for me brightened up many a day for me.
He visited a couple times with friends and without, and I think something started clicking in the back of my ind that when I finally did meet the right guy and that guy and I started dating, the friendship I had with Tommy should be similar to the dating relationship I would have with any guy I would end up with. How Tommy treated me, which is with honesty, respect, and a demonstration of his strong identity in Christ were qualities that I should be looking for in a guy I would date.
As our freshmen year of college developed, we still remained close, but as the summer after our first year of college we grew further apart. He had gotten a summer job and mine was to help with my family, more specifically my siblings, so both activities kept us pretty busy.
The next two years of college we fell out of touch. He had gotten a girlfriend and I was busy with family, school, deepening old friendships while developing new ones. In the August before my senior year of college we reconnected. I had wished him happy birthday over Facebook and then we agreed to meet up for breakfast one Saturday to catch up.
He had just recently broken up with his girlfriend of two years and I was about 5 months into my second more serious dating relationship. We discussed everything easily, where we had been, what we were doing now, and of course dating. One thing that stood out from our breakfast together was that he told me that our rapport, the way we were talking, and how we were acting together is how my current dating relationship should be.
That stayed with me for awhile, but I eventually forgot. We were in touch intermittently afterwards and I didn’t see him again ’til our high school 5 year reunion.
When I reconnected with him again, he was a totally different person I had eaten breakfast with before our senior year of college had started. Definitely showed signs of being the same person, but there was an air of maturity about him. He had grown up and was leaving to teach English in Korea the following week. Eventually we left our 5th year reunion venue with other mutual friends and headed to Applebee’s. We chatted for a couple hours and said our goodbyes.
That year I was finishing by post-graduate work and getting ready to start interviewing for jobs. It never occurred to me until much later that maybe I should’ve joined him to teach English in Korea too after I finished with my course of study. To date, that’s my only regret as far as doing something differently in my life.
I reconnected with he and another friend 4 years after our 5th year high school reunion. The first thing he told me as I came into the door and was sitting down at our table that he was engaged. It was a good surprise, but it was still a surprise. His news was hitting me at a low point in my life and he was the first life line I had reached out to outside of a few friends, so I was also somewhat shocked.
Our meeting that day was like all our other get-togethers had been in the past: Positive, upbeat, and a reminder of God’s hand in all of our lives. Afterwards, it was also heartbreaking for me because in the back of my mind I was hoping he and I would finally get to date and spend time together. However, reflecting on what happened, that wasn’t part of God’s plan for us as friends.
Presently, we’ve been in touch here and there. I still consider him a close friend whom I strongly support. Obviously, something tonight has caused me to open up about him.
Links to all his social media and books are down below:
My favorite YouTube video he’s done:
His Books on Amazon:
Hope you all enjoy, definitely a different sort of character. 🙂