Sunday, July 26, 2015

Is This Seat Taken?

I've come to notice that many of those I called "friends" have ceased to be.  Especially those going back to the hazy, crazy days of my youth. What happened? I'll tell you what happened: life. Life is what happened. People move to different locations, different jobs, different circles. Marriage takes you out of one and places you in another. Have kids? Some would say that life was over - at least one's social life.

If I focus on those who are no longer a "connection", it can become pretty depressing. But, I was reminded of something this weekend: big friends come in small packages. Life can be impacted in profound ways by the seemingly insignificant connections.

A year ago (July 2014), my wife and I flew to Salt Lake City, Utah, to attend Nerdtacular. I wrote about it in a previous blog post. Up to this year, Nerdtacular has taken place around the Independence Day weekend. This is the first year that it will be held the weekend of July 31 and August 1. My wife and I decided to not go this year, in order to save money and make it a long vacation next year (to coincide with our 10th wedding anniversary).

At one point during the event last year, we were waiting in the lobby to get into the ballroom for an event, and found ourselves in a conversation with a gentleman from The Great State of Texas (I believe "The Great State of" is part of the state's name, right?). You have to understand, there are people who come from all over the world to this event. Josh was friendly, funny, and engaging. That, by the way, pretty much describes the personalities of folks who attend.

After that weekend we kept a connection with Josh over Twitter. I mentioned him in the same post as above, so check it out for a taste of his Tweetness.

As July approached this year, I realized that I saw less and less of Josh on Twitter. He is a very intelligent software developer, so I'm sure his time is quite limited.

Yesterday I reached out to him via chat and told him we were thinking of him and to let him know that we would not be at this year's Nerdtacular, but were going to be watching the live broadcast of the event (check out Alpha Geek Radio). My wife suggested that if he got in front of a camera to wave.

His response impacted me so much that I'm writing this post. He basically expressed his disappointment and said that he had been looking to get together all year. He also said he was a reader of this blog, and that he wanted to discuss my recent sabbatical. Quite an intimate topic for someone I met briefly a year ago.

And that is the thing. It doesn't matter when, where, or how - it's in the least likely moments when a connection will grab you by the hand and hold on. You have to keep yourself open to those life puts in your path. Sometimes the simplest can be the most impactful.

Oh, and I guarantee, while I watch the live stream of this year's Nerdtacular, I'll be scanning the crowds for Josh.

© Emittravel 2015

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