I genuinely like people. I am what many people call “a people person.” I gravitate toward people and most people gravitate toward me (with some very notable exceptions, of course!). I have never had any problems making new friends; furthermore, my friends are real, live people, as opposed to a list of names of people I haven’t seen in decades that pop up from time to time via social media. Since I started playing the bass guitar in 2001, many of my friends are musicians or family members of musicians. Musicians are often a close knit group, but those I have met welcomed me into their world from my early days of learning how to provide the bottom end to songs. I have had the wonderful opportunity to play in bands with some of my friends, to play as part of a duo or trio with others, and to hear many amazing live performances of my friends in all kinds of venues throughout South Florida. As with some of my childhood friends, I have experienced several tragic deaths of new friends, making the friendships that remain more special with the passage of time. Ironically, my closest new friend is the widow of a musician who was a friend of mine for several years until his untimely passing. I didn’t know Diana until after her husband passed away, but since that time, she has been elevated to an “honorary Fort Myers status” (even though she is from New Jersey!) and we have had some fantastic times together, many of which center around our shared love of music. David calls me a “social butterfly,” but having lots of fun friends to spend time with is just who I am! As the old saying goes, “to make a friend, you need to be a friend.” It’s true!
It is interesting how we make friends. It seems to just happen. We don’t go looking for them usually. Making a friend doesn’t happen overnight. I feel fortunate to have made some good friends along the way. Thinking back to how these friendships formed I realize that in addition to Diana, whom Melissa mentioned, my “new” friends started as clients or perhaps photography contacts. I also am happy to report that Melissa has shared some of her so called “old friends” with me. But the clients turned friends or photographer turned friends are more “mine.” These friendships develop over shared interests – the aforementioned photography, as well as perhaps shooting or other outdoor activities. And, as I discussed in another post these result by adding dimensions to an acquaintance, especially when that acquaintance starts as a client. Once acquainted, some of these common interests start emerging. I know that those I count as friends are not like me in every way, philosophically, politically, and so on, and those who I consider friends appear to be mutually tolerant of our differences. Those less tolerant are not likely to become friends with me, or vice versa. We may not share all of our individual interests, but we share enough to be able to enjoy spending time in these activities as we as other social encounters. I am glad to share my life with my new, and old (or long time) friends. I am richer for it. You know who you are – thank you!