The last ten years have felt akin to living many lives. The decade brought a mixture of places, faces, times, and memories. In each of the cities I’ve stayed, I’ve been fortunate enough to meet a beautiful tribe of people that quickly etches their way into my heart.
I found myself alongside Michael Jackson, whilst living in Dallas, Texas. He was the type of guy who would light up a room as soon as he walked inside, shaking your hand and looking you in the eye like a true man from Texas ought to. Firm and strong, with a sparkle in his eyes as he greeted you.
You’d feel like you were the most important man in the room when you met Michael, rarely unaccompanied by his beautiful wife, Linda. They met when Michael was only 17 years-old and they’ve been together ever since.
He’d always clarify one thing when you met Linda:
“Linda’s not my wife; Linda is my person.”
Michael and Linda would roll up on his motorcycle; a glistening cruiser with pipes loud enough to hear a block away. “It’s for safety” Michael insisted, flaring those fat pipes until they roared.
I didn’t get along with Michael and Linda because I rode a motorcycle or identify as a Texan. We got along, like family, because we respected and accepted each other from the moment we met.
Michael frequently told me the two of us were the same person, just 20 years apart in age. As such, he made an effort to take me under his wing and pour out his life lessons into words I could understand. As a one-time self-made millionaire, his words were rooted in experience – often the difficult ones.
As I’ve gotten older, it’s become a lot more clear to me that life is full of relationships that don’t always look similar to each other. Rather, there’s a beautiful complexity in our diversity.
It’s difficult to move between cities frequently. I sincerely miss spending moments with people like Michael and Linda. However, I’m find myself thankful for an abundance of one of life’s greatest treasures: