A little self exploration has been done as of late. I mean, another year wiser, life events starting to move forward, if only by a notch. It’s good to take stock.

Well, I have to admit my self-analysis brought back a couple of hidden gems. Things I felt best left buried.

To the world at large, on the surface I suppose, I appear to be altogether collected and well liked. That illusion makes me smile. Broadly. Too bad the polar opposite seems to be more in keeping with my ever so wondrous reality.

You see kids…I was, and likely still am, the most socially awkward person on earth.

I’m the guy holding up the flowered wallpaper at parties.

I’m the guy that says just about the worst thing a person can say, at exactly the wrong moment. Like laughing hysterically at a funeral. Stuff that wins you all kinds of adoring fans.

I’m the guy that attempts to get a room laughing with his rapier wit and candor. However, my vivacious humour more often than not sends people careening towards imaginary cellphones that only dogs can hear ringing.

In short, I’m a social pariah. I’m the guy you never invite to the party a second time.

I’ve learned to accept my lot in life. If I was an actor, I’d have been offered the role of the awkward dullard that makes for comic relief and serves to make the stars look good. If I was a singer, I’d likely be playing accordion. As welcome as scoliosis and yet as appealing as the brace used to correct it, I’m one of those anomalies that is somehow needed, yet reviled.

Thank you for flying Tasmanian Air. Please observe the “No Smoking” sign.

So where lies my value, I often wonder to myself. See, I didn’t get to be pretty. I didn’t get to be a sophisticate. And I didn’t get to be brilliant.

What I got was the privilege of being the “best friend”.

For years, I hated this role. It bothered the living hell out of me. But as I get older, I am not only embracing this, but now am also cherishing it.

I have many friends. All of them seem to live much more glamorous lives. They have toiled upon the stage. Some have written great words for the public to cherish and enjoy. Others have seen the world beyond their own borders. But few of them have been entrusted with the faith that I have been.

It’s a privilege, and it makes me feel very warm inside.

During my quieter moments, I often reflect how others see me. And I’m proud, insufferably proud to have been entrusted with the light they share with me. It truly makes me smile from the inside out. I often wonder what it is about me that engenders such trust, and I’ve yet to pinpoint its source. But I do know that I thank God everyday for the privilege of being the mousey one everyone can talk to.

Looks fade, this stuff you can keep til the end! I may never be popular. I may never be beautiful. But I am blessed to be the guy everyone can depend on for a kind word, or a kick in the ass, when it’s needed most.

I may not be pretty, but damn I give good friend!

Have a safe and Happy Halloween my friends.