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Deep Run High School

What Defines A True Friend?

By life, rants

One year: With certain things, it seems like an eternity, and with others, it seems the blink of an eye. A year ago this month, I was finishing out my last days of high school. It seems like forever ago. I’ve changed and grown so much in so many different ways over the past year since I left Deep Run. More than anything, I’ve gained a true sense of identity for the first time in my life. I know who I am and am on the fast track to determining my purpose in life.

One of the biggest things I’ve discovered is what defines a true friend. Looking back on my high school days, I had many people in my life who kept me around simply because I was always there and someone to use as a backup plan for everything. I was always someone who was at everyone’s beckon call. I was way too available and never too busy to give anyone some time. I guess I’ve just always been a nice guy. Too nice. I was played like a fiddle.

I was always the one who someone would call when there was nothing better to do, and I was always fun to be around until someone better came along. I was the victim of one-sided friendships in which I put in all the effort and made all the plans. Now that’s not to say I didn’t have a group of real friends, because I always have. However, there were many people in my life who completely took advantage of me.

In recent months, I’ve kind of segued into a new core group of friends. They’re some of the most caring, compassionate, genuine, and sincere group of people I’ve ever met. It seems a lot of the people I put myself around in the past, and even some who are still friends to this very day, are just complete downers, are negative, or just hold me back in general. I find more and more after being around this positive, spiritual, forward thinking group I have now that some of the other people in my life are just dragging me down.

A true friend is someone who is genuinely interested in what’s on your mind and in your heart. They’re excited for you when you’re excited. They’re there for you when you’re down. They support your endeavors and dreams and build you up. That’s what I’ve found in this amazing group.

However, this has also given me great hindsight to see all the things true friends aren’t and to see all the negative influences that I’ve had in my life. They’re not just someone who sits impatiently as you’re speaking, thinking about what they’re going to say as you talk. They’re not someone who cares only about themselves or what you can do for them when they do nothing for you (oh I could write a book of stories on this one). They don’t get mad over things that don’t make sense and then choose not to talk to you when you make a genuine effort to resolve the so-called problem and even understand what silly thing they’re upset over in the first place (that’s immaturity if I’ve ever seen it). They don’t just expect you to be around at times of their choosing and then aren’t ever available themselves when you want to hang out. They don’t belittle you, constantly mock you, or talk behind your back. These are actual examples of some of the people who have been pulling me down in recent days. This post is just the beginning, too. I have some stories, going back to fifth grade, that I’d like to share with you in the near future that will really give you some insight into what happened that year that shaped me into the person I am today. Simply put, it was moving to Wyndham that year. Oh, the stories I have to share.

I have big dreams, goals, and plans for my life that I’m actually coming to the realization of. One long-time dream of mine is already coming true. It’s amazing to see it in reality. I guess you could say I’ve just started to realize what matters (and what really doesn’t) in life. It started a few months ago and I really feel I’ve entered a new chapter in my life. I’m so happy to have found friends who fit the new productive, goal-oriented lifestyle I’ve chosen to live and who build me up, not tear me down like so many people have in the past.

I’d say it’s time to weed out the garden, so to speak, in terms of who matches up with what I want my life to be and who just drags me through the mud. Sorry, those of you who I’m speaking to have done it long enough, and I refuse to live my life that way and be such a blatant fool any longer. I’m finally truely happy with where and what I am in life, and man it feels good to be in that place for once, after being beat down and defeated so many times in the past.

 

2008 Deep Run Marathon Dance Opening & Closing Videos

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I finally figured out how to compress these videos for YouTube and still have them look relatively decent. I made them for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Deep Run Marathon Dance and had a ton of fun doing it! Can’t wait for next year.

Opening Video (shown at the opening ceremony to dancers to get them pumped up for the 27 hours ahead):


Closing Video (includes charity interviews, dance footage (cut out for YouTube time restraints), and a dramatic grand total at the end):

The 2008 Deep Run Marathon Dance Raises $105,931.81 For Local Organizations!

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I still can’t believe just how much money was raised at this year’s Deep Run Marathon Dance. $105,931.81! I headed up the Film Crew this year and had so much fun filming throughout the duration of the 27 hour dance. I’ll talk more about how that went in a moment. But I made an opening video to get everyone pumped, including a pep talk from the movie Miracle, that was shown before the dance started, then had a closing video at the end that included interviews with leaders from all ten of the benefiting organizations, video footage from the dance, and a dramatic grand total at the end.

I was kind of on the edge of my seat at the closing ceremony because it had taken me eight hours to compile and edit the closing video and I didn’t even have time to render a DVD. So I basically just played an AVI that I exported to my computer and held my breath hoping my Mac wouldn’t freeze while playing it. It was a huge 2.5 GB file, so I had plenty reason to worry. Fortunately it didn’t freeze and I think it turned out pretty good. I had been up for just about 40 hours straight by the time I finished it, so I also wondered if I had made any big editing mistakes based on the fact that I was so mentally tired I didn’t know what I was doing. No one had even seen the video but me until I presented it to hundreds and hundreds of people at the closing ceremony. But there again, it turned out pretty good I think. Both videos will be posted later today and will be accessible here, on my YouTube page, and Facebook.

I was on the fence about whether to do this on an annual basis, but after doing this for my second year in a row and seeing the energy, enthusiasm, and huge benefit of this dance, there’s no question that I’ll do this again every year. It was so liberating to be able to head up my own video project and manage five other people who filmed the dance this year. I usually work under other people and have less creative control. It was great for once to be able to have the final say in what was produced and call all the shots, with no one to tell me otherwise. Because of that, I was a lot less frustrated and more motivated to produce a great end result. It was an amazing feeling (and that’s not a knock on anyone I normally work with, because they do great work; it was just a big thing for me personally). It was also cool to be recognized for once and I was honored to be so warmly received at the end.

Some have said that I should focus even more time on other video production efforts instead of doing this, but I would argue that it’s something that I’m really proud to be a part of and have so much fun doing it because of the role I’m given to creatively produce something really exciting and unique. Plus the end result is amazing. An event that raises almost $106,000 for charity is something really spectacular to be a part of. I may even consider taking on other projects and helping out other charitable causes around the area at their respective events because I found working with the Deep Run Marathon Dance to be very impacting and rewarding. It was just incredible.

Running On Empty

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I’m completely, utterly exhausted. I was running on adrenaline but am now out of that too. I don’t think I’ve ever been this tired in my life, and I’m about to stay up for 27 hours tomorrow night to film the Deep Run Marathon Dance. I’ll tell more about that later, but for now I’m going to bed. Lots of interesting things to post when I have more time, so stay tuned.

Questioning My Own Existence

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I’m really starting to question my own existence. Yesterday was just my final proof that I don’t really live in this world. I guess I’m in some alternate reality or some crap like that. Okay, so I’m just being a tad bit sarcastic as usual, but it always seemed funny to me how I was left off of any and all lists that my name could be on. It’s not that no one thinks I exist, just anyone related to any educational establishment, apparently. Deep Run and VCU.

It started my Freshman year of high school. I had purchased a yearbook, but for some reason the lists at the end of the year had absolutely no indication that I had ever paid for one. The next year, when the student information sheets that everyone in the entire Henrico County Public Schools system receives to verify and update name, address, and other contact information, I didn’t get one, and they said they weren’t sure if there was a record of me in their information database. They had one somewhere and finally figured it out, but how’s that for strange?

Well, yesterday was my final indication in case I needed any more proof that I do not exist on this earth, at least according to any educational entity. I was at the Alpine Bagel Company inside the commons at VCU trying to grab a bagel before class. Not so much to ask, right? Well I guess I was wrong. The girl looked me straight in the face and took my order, I paid for it, and then she forgot she was supposed to make mine. After waiting for ten minutes while seemingly fifty more people were served who were in line behind me, she apologized and said my bagel was coming right up. Well, apparently it slipped her mind again and she served a few more people before I walked up to the counter and watched her make the freaking thing. I was like one of those dumb magic shows on prime time TV where they’re like “Watch closely as Veronica is sawed in half; this camera will not cut away…”. I barely blinked as she smeared cream cheese on my bagel until it was nestled safely in my hands.

So I wanted my typical Chai Tea Latte from Starbucks to go with it. I walked over to the Cabell Library to get my fix of my favorite drink, and, yep you guessed it, repeat situation. They forgot me once there, which I guess is a better track record than the bagel place, but wow. I’m gonna have to start lighting traffic flares from on top of my head and wave around sparklers or something to make sure people know I’m around I guess. Maybe a flashing LED “Trevor needs food just like everyone else in line” wouldn’t hurt, either. I’ll just wear it around my forehead or something.

Exciting Things

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Well, today’s a day of meetings of all sorts. I’ve been to two, got one more this afternoon. Some good things resulted from these meetings, and things are finally getting back on track it seems. First off, I just got a great job offer today that I’m taking with a local computer company, where I’ll be able to repair Macs (I’m even going to become an Apple Certified Repair Technician just like the people that work at the Genius Bar at the Apple Store) and might even get to set my own hours. I tentatively start the second week of March. I’ll say more about what company it is and everything once all the details are hammered out.

In other news, Virginia Credit Union asked me to be in a TV commercial with a few other members to talk about our experiences with them. They’re filming it near VCU next to the new business building the first week of March. It should be fun; I’m looking forward to it.

I’m meeting later this afternoon with members of the Richmond Outreach Center (ROC) at Deep Run to film a segment about the work they do to for people who would otherwise not come to Christ. They’re the last of ten organizations to be filmed that are benefiting from funds raised at the 2008 Deep Run Marathon Dance. I’m producing a DVD of the event again this year, and I’m looking forward to the event. It’s a great experience.

Things are looking up!

Deep Run Marathon Dance 2008 Promo

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I made a video promo for Deep Run’s 2008 Marathon Dance, which is a 27-hour dance party that raises money for local charities. Last year, the dance raised over $71,000 for autism. This promo was run this morning on the Wildcat News, the closed-circuit live news program that airs each morning.

 

What My Bonfire Taught Me About Life

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So I had another one of my bonfires last night. The idea for these things started when I had the idea to have a Christmas Party last year. I wanted to have a bunch of people over, but didn’t want to deal with having them all in the house and whatnot. So I decided to have it outside. It was cold, so I got some wood and put out the fire pit. I also set up a projector and made a screen of sorts from some fabric and stretched it between two trees to show a movie. It was a big hit. I had about thirty people, a great amount. I did it again for my graduation party, at which about seventy-five people came.

Banking on the popularity and success of the previous gatherings, I decided to try it again this past summer. It was pretty much a flop. It was basically the victim of poor planning on my part. I invited everyone about a week before and had it on the weekend most people were headed off to college. Smooth.

Well, I did it again last night. I originally was going to have the thing before Christmas, but found myself broke and realized that too many people had prior commitments with it being a little more than a week before Christmas and all. So it turned out alright last night I guess. It wasn’t an amazing turnout, but twelve or thirteen isn’t anything to complain about either.

Jen and Allie were there from the beginning, and were pretty much the staples that held the thing together. With the exception of two others, the rest of the guests were high school friends. Just worked out that way. Now I may be quick with a joke or humorous one-liner here and there, but for the most part I’m just not one to be able to keep a party going (I was busy enough doing that with the fire anyway). I guess I figured I was like an air traffic controller or something in the sense that I thought I would get the plane (or in this case the party) started and on the right course and then the thing would naturally take off as people started to talk to each other. Well, it just didn’t really happen. I think the biggest problem is I have so many different groups of friends in a lot of different places, from all walks of life. It’s the same thing when I hang out with people. There’s always some sort of conflict or difference between the groups that prevents things from going as planned.

So anyway it wasn’t any sort of catastrophic failure or anything, I just don’t think I’m going to try and do the whole bonfire thing again. There’s just too much of an assortment of people that don’t seem to mix well together for some reason. I think I’ll stick to my close-knit group of friends when it comes to these types of gatherings in the future.

So after five paragraphs you’re probably wondering when the revolutionary stuff the title of this post hints at is going to show itself. Well, it’s nothing revolutionary or anything. Pretty basic. I think this whole thing has shown me that I’ve kind of moved on. See, living at home while in college thus far has caused me to straddle myself between Deep Run and VCU, at least friend-wise. There are a lot of Seniors I’m still friends with, and at the same time I have my college friends as well. The only ones I really keep up with lately are Winston, Jenn, and Lizzy. Me and them do lunch/dinner and stuff from time to time, but for the most part with everyone else I guess I’ve just moved on. It can be expected I guess. I guess you can get this mental picture of what your life looks like and then you see it physically (like last night) and you realize it’s completely shifted in a different direction and changed a lot.

I think I need to get a place to truly feel like I’m in college. It just sort of feels like I’m taking some classes right now doing the whole commuting thing. It’s time I get into this thing all the way.

Anyway, I think another thing this bonfire taught me about life is that we never think things are as good as the first time we do them. We never think Christmas, for the most part, is as special or magical as when we were kids. It’s all because we have this idea in our heads about what we think the perfect event, holiday, etc. is supposed to be like based on past events. Things change. That’s life. It’s tough to do sometimes, but we need to realize that change is a part of life and new traditions can be formed even if the old ones don’t work out anymore. This is another thing that happened at my party (having so many people come before) and it’s just something that really says a lot about life in general.

Who knew a simple gathering with friends could be a metaphor for so many things in life?