Tonight, my very good friend of over 20 years gave me this picture for my birthday. She was worried that it wasn’t enough or that i wouldn’t like it. the moment I saw it I had tears in my eyes. It seems such a simple sentiment, ‘never stop exploring’, but it had a profound impact on me. I feel I must go back a ways to adequately describe my emotional reaction. I have been friends with Dana for over 20 years and we have been there for each other in some of our most critical life experiences. I hold her and her husband (whom I’ve actually known longer than Dana) in the highest regard. If you want to know the epitome of good human beings with genuine values, look no further. If I were of the matrimonial and familial type, there’s is the example that I would strive to live up to. Now, to be honest, we aren’t as frequently connected as we once were, but that has never been an issue. No matter how much time passes, when we do meet, we pick up right where we left off without question. It’s a kind of sense of ‘home’ that you can’t find anywhere else and I cherish it; to be accepted for who I am and what I believe in no matter how different our everyday lives may be. We have that foundation of ‘I know you’. So in that moment when I opened a ‘simple’ gift, it was a moment that I recognized that no matter how much time passes, she knows who I am and what drives me. She knows what I’ve gone through and experienced to reach self discovery, because she was with me. It really said to me, ‘I know you and I know what you need to be happy, and I support you’. As a person who has always struggled with the feeling that I belong nowhere and everywhere at once, this means the world to me.