Constants

“If you’re lost you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you, I will be waiting
Time after time” – Cyndi Lauper,
Time After Time

I tend to end up in positions of various circles where I am the “go-to” for advice, guidance, or simply a steady presence and listening ear. I’m the guy who “has it all together” and can be relied on. I rarely lose my cool even when stuff doesn’t go the way I would have liked or in situations when I would have had the right to respond with externally visible frustration or anger. I’ve been told people appreciate that my constant calm presence. Coworkers over the years have commented that I keep it together well during busy times or when projects or clients get crazy and I don’t complain too much. Friends say I’m a good listener and can be trusted. All of this means a lot to me, and I’ve come to grow and enjoy my role in this world.

Like many people, my life is comprised of ups and downs, things that are great, things that suck, and things that are just there. That isn’t so different from anyone else’s. I’ve been fortunate enough to have some deep, long-standing friendships that started back in my early teen years which I can lean on, one of whom includes my best friend. My mom and brother still live in the house I grew up in since birth, and that brings some unspoken comfort anytime I visit. I’ve been lucky enough to work at the same company since I graduated college.

On the flip side, I’ve also experienced loss of friendships due to distance and time; I didn’t get into my original college of choice; I’ve watched a lot of things change and people come and go at work; and perhaps most impactful, my parents divorced at an age where I can’t remember them ever being married. I’ve watched each of them find their respective ways as I’ve grown up into adulthood and continue to try and figure out my stuff on my journey.

As I get older and reflect on what I’ve been though, I wonder how that event has affected every life decision I’ve made. (In my younger days, I often wondered how my life would have turned out otherwise. Where would I have lived? Who would I have become?) How much of who I am now is directly because of growing up primarily with one parent? What did I miss out on? And consequently, what did I also gain by these experiences? Maybe a perspective on the world that fewer things should be temporary and that there’s value in holding on and making things last, even when it’s hard and (temporarily) painful and the fruits of that labor aren’t immediately apparent. It’s not usually about the long haul, but the instant results.

I’ve never been much of a risk taker, though some may see traveling internationally on your own contradicting that statement. I’m pretty cautious with most decisions and take my time with things. It often takes a while for me to open up about my personal life and when I do, it’s only with a select few. I don’t like a lot of change, at least not too closely together. The last few years are challenging me on that front a bit more than I’d prefer. On the outside, I do my best to maintain my “cool,” calm, put together exterior for the sake of others. We humans are sometimes apt to become anxious when others also show signs of anxiety and fear. The last thing I want to do is the be the source of anxiousness and concern in a world that generates more than enough of that already.

Because of all this, I want & need to have & rely on other people to rely on and trust as fully as possible. I need those constants in my life to keep me grounded when things get weird. And most days, my heart knows I have that. Faith helps keep me grounded, along with friends who get me and gently prod me in the right way.

Who or what are your constants? Will they be there ready to catch you for all that you are, time after time?