To My Friends…

To my friends,
I find myself at a crossroads as I get closer to the end of the semester. It has been a semester and a year of changes…lots of changes. Yet it has been one that I can look on and smile…perhaps because of all the friends I have made in this past year and a half.. Perhaps if it were not for my friends I might have found myself lying in a ditch somewhere alone and in the dark.If you are reading this…it is because you have had an impact on my life…even if I have only known you a few short months or several years. I would not be who I am without having you in my life…for that I feel blessed. Still I suppose that this is a thank you of sorts.At this time last year I was contemplating suicide, but what stopped me was knowing was that there was people like you to come back to when I got out of the mental hospital. It was because I knew there were people like you who existed. If I had not had friends such as you to come back to…I would be dead.Now here it is a year later…and while those days are in the hospital are in the past, they are not forgotten. Yet as time has gone by and I began to see that there was a life worth living because of the people that were worth knowing.They say that one can define himself by the people he or she associate with. They also say that you can choose your friends but you cannot choose your family. All I can say is that I cannot have chosen to know a better and more admirable and more honorable group of people to call my friends.I spent a long time doubting myself and thinking I was worthless, but then I realized I was not thinking those things about myself but about the people I knew. I could not accept their/your faith in me.I spent a lot of time wondering what people saw in me that I perhaps did not see in myself, but I realized is that I was not seeing those things in myself but in the people around me.It was at that point I realized that I had chosen to hang around the wrong group of people.Now I am with the right people. You.It was not until this past year or so that I heard people say that they respected me. The irony is that I spent most of my time up until last year trying to prove myself to others…when I never had to do it at all. Yet the people I used to know in years past…never would have said such a thing.I remember at the Daily Titan's Reverse Press Conference just this last week where David Carrillo introduced me to the people there as a respected journalist. I have to be honest I did not quite know how to respond to that. Or even when friends tell me now that they are excited about the possibility of seeing again or at some random place or event. In the past, it was not my nature to be happy to see other people.I always thought people did not like me, but I now realize that I was wrong. I always thought that I was a good person that no one else saw. I was wrong.You might think that I am being perhaps a bit cavalier in my usage of the word friend, but I would disagee. For me friend is more than just a word. In many ways my friends are like my family, so I don't bestow this title upon you lightly as is often the case nowadays. I say it because I mean it.Since a good friendship is based on reciprocity…all the good things you have given me, such as your love and respect I want to give back to you. I am not a rich man, so my heart is the only thing I have to give.Now this year is ending a new one with a bright future is approaching.Thank you for being who you are.Thank you for saving my life.
I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving!
Your friend,

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