the year began with 365 days, 325 facebook friends, and a new year’s resolution to meet every single friend at least once during the year. it appeared, and still appears, to be impossible. this weekend, on the 298th day of the year, i will have to embark on what i consider the most impossible aspect of this venture–traveling overseas.
i leave for south korea on sunday. i’ll have with me my older son joseph who is, oddly enough, f2fb friend #61. we will meet with facebook friend john chie, hopscotch over to taiwan, slipping into and out of the philippines in one day, hitting up mumbai and dubai before landing in rome on the 30th. we will see facebook friends at every stop, except in mumbai and rome there will be two friends!
f2fb friend #238 tina marshall invited me to highwood. she is a manicurist and she wanted at least my hands to look good on this trip. we’ve known each other for close to ten years but it’s been at least a year since we’ve actually physically seen each other. when we have phones, messaging, email, facebook, twitter, and carrier pigeons, we sometimes can forget that it’s spending time together that makes a friendship.
i told her that i’m scared of the upcoming flights, the uncertainties of countries where i don’t speak the language, the possibilities for catastrophe. and, of course, that i will–for the first time in my life–not be here for this sacred holiday of candy and mayhem. halloween is my favorite holiday because i don’t feel so silly being myself. she reminded me that i will also be missing the special festivities of the city of highwood.
(to learn more about the festivities go to highwoodpumpkinfest.com!)
it still seems impossible that i’ll see each of my 325 facebook friends by december 31 (all new year’s resolutions have an endgame) but if they’re as easygoing as f2fb friend #239 jim levin it’ll be a joyful but hectic 73 days to the finish line. jim invited me to the river north area of chicago where he works starting new businesses. he likes the excitement and challenge–for instance, when he was just 24 he recognized the talents of an italian designer gianni versace. he negotiated to bring the designer’s work to the united states. within a few short years, he had opened all the versace stores in america and sold the business, moving on to another challenge. he is an artist as much as a painter or sculptor. his canvas just happens to be commerce.
jim and i share an excitement about the impossible. i don’t know if we share the fear of the impossible–i have it, i have a sense that jim doesn’t have that fear.
make a new year’s resolution, whether your new year begins on january one or rosh hashanah or on your birthday or on the third day after the first full moon in april. make it something you’ve always yearned for but believe to be utterly impossible. then tell all your friends (posting on facebook december 31, 2010 worked for me) and you’ll find that you can’t back out. your friends will propel you forward towards success. you will take small steps, ignoring the big obstacles and turning them into strengths. if you want, email me your most impossible resolution. i will be that friend for you!