12.22.2009

The One About Friends

I write this knowing that as soon as I finish it, I will think of people I have left out. So, at the get go, I make my apologies. Monday I spent the day with two of my friends, Shan and Stephanie. And as we had our now infamous baking meeting (a great way to have a legitimate planning meeting by the way) it dawned on that, as they discussed their piano playing styles and so forth, that I, once again, felt talent-less. I tend to do this around those who can do things I can't do. I am drawn to artists and musician-types probably because I can't do what they can. And am even surprised when they are boggled at each other. For instance. Shan is a classically trained pianist. Brien Travis is not. They are both amazingly brilliant and brag on each other constantly. And yet Brien talks like he can't even play compared to Shan. It's simply apples and oranges. I can't play next to any of them. No fruit sums up my ability. Not even kiwi. And I took lessons. Point being, I feel talent-less. Until it dawned on me. I do have one talent. One amazing talent. One exceptional talent. I excel at picking friends. I really do. Even Shan has told me that if they have passed through my filter then that's good enough for her.

One of my favorite high school teachers, Mrs. Jewel Alexander, said that very few people could maintain a close friendship for more than five years with even as many as five people. I always thought that sad. I have maintained with many people for more years than I care to share with you now. I think almost daily of Chris Sabec and still talk to him and would do pretty much anything I could for him. He's now on the West Coast. But we still talk and every time we do we pick up right where we left off.

I either email, text or talk to Wendy every single day. We met on the first day, first period of high school. Every day we communicate. Wendy is a member of my crack research team on my website. She brings the funny. Sure, I now have thousands of people who check it out every day. But when it first started, I just had Wendy. In my mind, if I can make Wendy laugh then it's a good show.

Same thing with Eda. We've been tight since college. She is the other member of the crack research team and believes I am made for world domination. That is always good to know. Eda, like Wendy, has a real job and yet still takes time to write and do for me. See? I find and hold on to the good ones. It has to be a talent. Because I didn't attend Hogwarts and have not cast a spell that I am aware of.

Brien Travis is the reason www.thejaneellen.com exists. When I was laid off from my radio job he said you are going to do a podcast. I said a whatcast? And that's how it all started. And he is one extremely busy man. I call him my biggest cheerleader, but not in a fem way. He just wouldn't let me stop even when I thought no one was listening or clicking or reading or anything. And now it seems everyone is listening and visiting the website. It's extraordinary. And I owe it all to Brien who designed the website and spends every second of his spare time on it when he should be writing and recording his next album. I am thrilled and yet guilt-ridden at the same time. It's very hard to thank friends like that. It's hard to find friends like that too. They have to find you.

Shan, Beth, Stephanie, Anita, Morgan, Cassie, Nathan, my two Jays, Leslie, Adam, Lori and Joe, I mean I could just start listing how lucky I am to have such great people around me. And, as I said before, I will realize there were 20 more I should mention the minute this is made public. But the point is. I know now I have a wonderful talent and that is amazing friends. And I'm glad you have felt such pity for me to stick around for so long. Please don't go!