memento

Friend who's been struggling a bit gets back from out of town and stops by my work to drop something off for me. Walks into the store, back to my office where I'm in a meeting with my boss. Wordlessly sets a small wrapped gift and a card in front of me on my desk, then turns and leaves without interrupting us.

A bit later when I'm alone I open the gift and read the card. I text the friend two emojis - a heart and the bomb - and that's it, until I can say thanks later in person.

Everyone has different metrics for success, whether it's financial gain, creative output, or some physical milestone reached. I have a little bit of each of those, but more than anything, my sense of achievement and meaning comes from feeling like I'm a good friend to the people who've trusted me enough to let me in. It's everything to me. And everything I've learned about how to be a better friend has come from befriending better people than myself.

Chances are I will lose the toy and maybe even the card some day. But I'll never forget how this friend makes me feel.