Thursday, March 21, 2013

the time is now.

Today, it's time to revisit an old post of mine: just do this.

It involved an eye opening list of "30 Things to Start Doing for Yourself". It's not an act of selfishness, but rather self preservation. And it's one of the best damn lists I've ever read (and I've read a lot because come on, who doesn't love a good list?)

Lately, I've been focusing on #17:
Start looking for the silver lining in tough situations. 
When things are hard, and you feel down, take a few deep breaths and look for the silver lining – the small glimmers of hope.  Remind yourself that you can and will grow stronger from these hard times.  And remain conscious of your blessings and victories – all the things in your life that are right. 
Focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t.

The past month has been hard. Really hard.

On February 14, I lost a dear friend way too soon. He was 33...with the smile of a champion, heart of gold and the hug heard 'round the world.

It's taken me until now to admit he's gone. Which - even writing this five weeks later - still doesn't seem possible. I know I'm still grieving and will continue to until who knows when.

Right now, I'm feeling the tug to write about him so bear with me while I broach a heavy subject.

I met Ari when I was a doe-eyed freckle-faced kid straight out of college. We worked for Feld Entertainment; he in the NYC office and me in the Philly office. After meeting my brand new coworkers down in Florida on day one, I knew this job was perfect for me. I was working with a bunch of clowns - literally and figuratively.

The coolest thing about Feld is you didn't just have coworkers. You didn't just have friends who were coworkers. You had family who were coworkers. We worked long, insane hours - at all hours of the day and night. Our bags were always packed, ready to move onto the next market. We were around each other constantly. Nobody really knew what we did except our counterparts. For that, I'll forever be thankful for my Feld family.

Ari, in particular, was so kind and treated me like an equal from day one. We had the same sense of humor and were constantly trying to outwit each other.

I always joked with him that he was "so not a dude" because no "dude" could ever be that nice. I'll miss his random gchats with an "Anchorman" or "The Office" quote. I'll miss his constant "Angel, when's your next trip to NYC so I can drink you under the table?" inquisitions. I'll miss the random email chains he would start with Dan, Amanda, Bridget, Amy and I, "complaining" Ringling was promoting on his sports channel's website. He secretly loved it.

I'll just miss him.

The toughest part is all the questions around his death. Not having answers is frustrating. SO frustrating. But you can either let the frustrations consume you and drive you crazy or you can attempt to push them aside and embrace the friendship while it was there (in person). A friendship he gave to everyone equally.

RIP, Papa Burgundy. We'll live through the memories and a few pictures to keep your light shining. And just so you know, no, I will never be an Eagles fan or a Phillies fan or a fan of Philly, but I'll always be a fan of yours.

Day four (or five?) at my first post-college job. "Under the Sea" ball
The best part about this picture is that elephant's name was Ari too!
A fact I know I appreciated more than human Ari.
This was captured at 3am in NYC
right before the start of the infamous Animal Walk.
All in a day's work.
In a suite at a Mets' game for JP's surprise going away.
We drank our feelings of sadness away.
"Basile's Ball Busters"
Papa Burgundy enjoying the elements of a hangover.
I *dig* this picture because of its irony.
Ari actually never rowed for a second during this canoe trip.
Absolutely no idea.
Whip cream love.
Capping the night with a creepy smile? Seems about right.

*Note: this turned into a "Dear Diary" entry in a hot second...and for once, I'm actually okay with that.

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