Before Mark returned to Louisville, he fulfilled his promise to take me out for my 30th birthday. Our friend Sharon joined up with us and we enjoyed a rather sublime evening at Bonefish, Ceviche and downtown St. Petersburg.
Nothing too noteworthy, other than to say that throughout the night, I kept thinking how blessed I am to have friends that still make me laugh. So many guys have a difficult time keeping a friendship that doesn’t revolve around XBox, Hooters and fantasy football (wait, that’s Sherwin and me). Sure, I love being an ex-Frat Guy more than anyone, but the bond I share with Eric, Mark, Sherwin, Aaron and my brother Patrick transcends the ordinary.
Mark and Eric did such a fantastic job lifting my spirits while they were in town. One particular night, when the three of us and Nadine, Sharon and Hillary we’re at Baywalk and I ran into so many past associates, I actually felt like my old self again, Prince of St. Pete (or is that a big fish in a little pond).
The conversations I had with Mark while he was in town (he was here for an extended period so that he could take the dental boards) were so honest and insightful. More importantly, they brought me out of the depression I was in over the last three months, dating back to the news about my dad.
So as I approach New Year’s, it is being done so, not on a down note, but rather on a very slight uptick. What is ironic, is that last New Year’s Eve, I finally got exactly what I wanted, that being an evening with Carissa. Because of that, I thought 2005 was going to be a grand year. I certainly would not have predicted it would be the worst.
But, as Nixon said, “Only if you have been in the deepest valley, can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.” This year, I traversed the deepest valley of my personal life. I search now for the view of the highest mountain.