You know, I used to skip the whole “Making Friends” part of life because I didn’t see meaning in spending time with people I just go to school with. I balked at the idea that everyone could be your friend. Instead, I made maybe only 3 good friends in School.
In University, I was the direct opposite. I tried to truly befriend anyone that I could, but that came with deficits as well. I never had time to really focus on just a few friends and it was hard to build truly deep bonds.
I grew to realise that there would always be just people that I would be good with, and people I simply couldn’t get along with. More importantly, I learnt that this was okay.
I started to realise that those I got along with were those that incessantly put me in positions of challenge or worked through those challenges with me. The people at Daily Vanity, for instance, challenge me to go past my comfort zone with every article or video we make together. I’ve applied fake eyelashes on myself, and played with phallic looking face massagers like it’s NBD. They challenge me to break the mould and let the world in.
Some friends build great things together with me, enabling a visions that don’t seem even remotely possible at the very start. Almost anything good at myVillage was built with a great friend who shared a vision.
Whether it’s people at Universal Music who I trusted with the Rooftop Affair vision, or the many many brand building exercises that the team at Consulus worked on. They challenge me to be more patient, to trust that that others can carry the idea to fruition.
Some friends take me to places within the heart and mind I fear venturing into. They force me to look into myself and make me ask if there’s something I need to fix. They hold up a mirror in the gentlest way, and talk to the soul. If I’ve gotten any better at relating to humans, it is these friends that have shown me how. They challenged me to be more human.
These past few weeks, I’ve been talking to 3 different good friends, all who just happen to be doing some great work in the AI Chatbot arena. All three instinctively understand the vision I am building, and are clear on how they can enable that vision. Most importantly, they all seem to relish the mental challenge that this work and understand the dream of eventually building the first completely responsive AI that learns as it goes for a mall. They continue to challenge me to see a broader future.
My friends mean a lot. My friends mean openness, trust, patience, humanity and vision. They mean all that to me, and for that, I have every reason to be thankful.