We are Me- Choosing who You are through your Friends.

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

– Jim Rohn

Yesterday was one of my best friend’s birthdays. He’s a really great human being, and I’m fortunate enough to call him a friend. It really got me thinking about the depth of the relationships in my Life, the traits that I look for in people, what makes a good friend, and how all of these factors affect who I am as a person. If you’re interested in what I posted about him for his birthday on Facebook, I copy-pasted it below. Otherwise, feel free to skip down (like you need my permission).

Is there a better human being than Brian Bosen?

It’s his birthday. He’s old.
He’s the most accepting person I know.
He’s also the most random person that I know.
He’s tall. Like way tall. Well, noticeably taller than me.
So, not that tall.
He can grow a beard.
He’s a really colorful person.. but like in the movie, Pleasantville.
He’s also a nerd. Book nerd. Earth nerd. Dragon Ball Z nerd. Word nerd.
Guitar nerd. Alice in Chains nerd. Taco Bell nerd. Bird nerd. Bird is the word. Bird bird bird bird. Word nerd. Bread nerd. Cheap food nerd.
He likes puns. And I also like puns. So, we say a lot of puns.
He can grow his hair really long.
Not that that is a talent, but his hair is really long. He wears a bun.
He cares about you. Like all of you. To a flaw. He just cares.
He pays more in rent so that he can have a bigger place, solely for the fact that you might come visit the Bay Area and need a place to stay.
He wears headbands. Like more often than a person rightfully should.
Then he wears sunglasses that do not match said headband.
His clothes almost never match. Like ever. And he pulls it off.
His name is Brian, but I call him Bosen. Or Brosen, like “Bro, son.”
Or Dumbledorff. Or Nerd (please see above). Some people call him Lion.
I don’t call him Lion, because he’s not a Lion. He’s a human being.
But it’s totally fine if you call him Lion.. you can really call him whatever.
Because he’s nice and he probably won’t care what you call him.
I call him not that often, because we typically text each other.
He likes terrible movies. And also some good ones, but mainly bad ones.
One year for our co-birthday we watched every Tremors movie (all 4) while drinking box wine out of cans. We then, dressed up as the elves from Rice Krispies and had a cereal box character themed party.
We’ve played over 100 stages together in over a dozen states.
He has lived out of his car. And I learned how to drive that car.
People love him everywhere he goes. Genuinely. And rightfully so.

Brian Bosen is one of the greatest human beings that I have ever met, and he possesses all of the traits that I’m working on having. I look up to him as an individual. I respect him as a fellow musician. I cherish him as a friend. I love him as a family member. I look forward to our future memories.

Stoked for Europe next week, Nerd.


(taken from my Instagram: @CraigSuede)

   Though I don’t entirely agree with Jim Rohn and his quote about being the average of the people around you, I definitely recognize the impact that people can have on us. As an educator, I hope that I can inspire and teach in a way that is understandable and accepted, but I also know that the most influential people are those who are closest and spend the most time with the students I work with. And this is just as true for myself. Instead of focusing on the amount of time I’ve spent with people (which with Bosen includes driving in the car across the US playing gigs on 3 separate occasions for 3 weeks at a time and countless gigs in California), I’d rather focus on the people that we choose as friends.. the ones that we let into Our Own World.

“A true friend accepts who you are, but also helps you become who you should be.”

– Unknown author

I’ve never been good at making friends. Real friends. It’s an ongoing learning and lesson about myself that I’m currently working on. I’m great at making connections. I’m good at chatting with people. I’m even pretty decent at talking through stuff and letting others open up to me (only recently have I been more into “opening up”). However, I have the tendency to cut my interactions and emotions short when creating a genuine relationship with other people. It’s crazy, because I distinctly remember my entire Life wanting to have a best friend growing up.. and I never did. I now realize that I probably never connected in a way with anyone to invite a “best friend relationship”, and it stems from a fear of letting another person get to know the real me and believing that they won’t accept me for who I am.. this is probably an adoption issue or something, but I suppose I haven’t delved into this enough to fully understand. Anywho, I digress.

The People we choose to be close to have the largest impact on who we are/ who we become as a Person.

So basically, the people we keep closest to ourselves have an open invitation to change or maintain who we are. We not only allow it, but we are asking for it from them. When you choose who you want to be around, what do you look for? What are the traits that attract you to those people? Typically, we begin with commonality and the reflection of ourselves in those people, but then we tend to admire the aspects about others that we wish we were. There are many people whom I’ve met and know me to an extent, but there are very few that actually know me. I’d say, that for these select individuals, these are the shared traits that they all have:

  • Loyal – I am fiercely loyal to my close friends, and I expect the same in return. One of my closest friends plays Hockey, and I think of my friends as my teammates.. and it’s nice knowing that if shit goes down, they’ll clear the bench.
  • Driven – As a goal-oriented person myself, I’ve found that I quickly lose interest in people that lack motivation. A mundane lifestyle of settling and always taking the safe route is infectious and boring. Yes, as much as I’d love to Netflix my Life away with you, at some point I will get restless.. and I’ll feel the need to achieve at something, anything: fitness, music, education, career, performance, creative, social, just something!
  • Leadership – Have you heard the saying “too many cooks in the kitchen?” There was a time when I felt that a group of people is best with a leader or two and others who are followers.. and now I totally disagree. I take pride in knowing that the people I associate myself with are all Leaders. And there are moments when each leads.. whether it’s just timing or situational, these Leaders know when to lead, when to follow, and how to support.
  • Social – there’s nothing worse than bringing someone out to an event, and they cannot function without puppying around with you, dominating your attention or needing you to hold the space for them. We’ve all been there. Admittedly, I used to have the habit of inviting new girls that I’m seeing into over the top social settings and kind of abandoning them to see how they can handle themselves. Yes, I know this is kind of a dick move. Yes, I know this is unfair. I’m working on being more sensitive to others’ needs, however, there is still value in surrounding yourself with people that can hold their own. All of my friends can go into any social setting and in the very least, entertain themselves and carry conversations.
  • Honest – My friends are kind of assholes. Like, all of them. (As I’m typing this, I’m realizing this is probably one of those reflection things.. oops). We give each other a hard time and jokingly say comments to each other that would most likely be wildly inappropriate by normal social standards. I know this isn’t for everyone, but I think this allows everyone to communicate in a way that is somewhat joking but real. In our group, if you have a problem with something someone is doing, you make fun of them for it. If we’re real friends, then the intention is still for the bettering or better understanding of this person. I’m questioning if this is healthy or not, but it’s definitely a common theme here.
  • Fun – And that’s it. I try to surround myself with people that I want to be around. Generally, these are the types of people that other people want to be around. Not everyone has to be the Life of the Party, but it’s nice when your people bring Life to a party. Every single person in my inner circle brings something to the table. Everyone has their own uniqueness that is fun or charming or witty or funny or ridiculous.. mainly ridiculous. And it’s so important, because time and time again, I’ve met really great, boring people that just don’t hang. And the over-the-top nature of my group of friends tends to drown out others into obscurity. Not that they aren’t inviting and inclusive. I’ve just seen it happen.

My friends aren’t for everyone. They’re for Me, just as your friends are for You. These people, both Past and Present, have helped shaped me to be who I am and who I’m becoming. For better or for worse, They are my Choice and who I Choose to Be.

So thank you, Friends. For putting up with me, helping me, shaping me, and being who You are.
We are Me. You are Us. I am Thankful.


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