Retracing Encounters: Changing the World One Outfit and Song at a Time

3. Schotty

Location of Interaction: Niagara Falls, NY

We were quite the dynamic duo in college. We operated a column together in the school newspaper for a short period of time and we supported each other through each ridiculous crush and heartbreak we experienced. My girl Schotty is a breath of fresh air. She was one of my favorite people in college to spend time with and I’m sad to say that I haven’t spoken to her face to face since we parted ways in 2010. That being said, this doesn’t mean we haven’t stayed in touch. In fact, other than our brilliant antics in college, one of my favorite things about her is what she’s doing today. I wasn’t sure what Schotty was going to end up doing after college, but now that I’m seeing what she’s up to, it makes perfect sense. For the past several months, she’s been running her own fashion blog for plus sized girls. And you know what the best part is? She uses her own photos on the blog. This makes total sense since she’s gorgeous and (as the blog proves) has good taste. She also writes with the signature sass that I love about her so much. It’s like she’s taken all of the best parts of herself from college, amplified them, and sewn them into something totally new. I also am keen on the fact that she’s found a way to honor a part of oneself that many people dislike. She’s turned a negative into a positive, just by keeping a blog.

The blog currently keeps a heartbeat at:

I have high hopes for Schotty. I think in a decade or so she’ll probably be heading her own cable show. It’ll be a show that balances her wit and her hilarious nature perfectly. I guess the world and I just have to wait and see where she goes. I anxiously await her future…and hope, perhaps, I can be a part of it when we cross paths again.

Thanks for being part of my life, 1.

2. Adam

Location of Interaction: Saint Louis, MO

When I first met Adam I thought he was an eccentric guy. I was right. And it was so refreshing to spend time with him. It turns out that our interactions were only to be for a few months, but I continue to respect how he lives his life and am thankful for our time together. Adam and I spent a grand total of two months seeing each other regularly as we were both cast as supporting roles in a six-person play. When I say we had “supporting roles”, I mean that we had quite a bit of downtime between scenes. This left plenty of opportunity for conversation, which I loved. He was one of the more fascinating people I have crossed paths with in recent history, and by far the most interesting person I happened upon in my 11 months in Saint Louis. His uniqueness was appealing. I never got bored with being around him or listening to what he had to say. As a matter of fact, one of my favorite things about Adam was that he never let a conversation end easily. He questioned a huge percentage of the things that I said, which, in tern, gave me the opportunity to reevaluate my thoughts. Eventually, I learned to think the things I would say to him through very carefully before they actually came out of my mouth. I guess, in short, he was quick to call me on my bullsh*t. I liked that—no, I appreciated that.

What was odd about meeting someone as exceptional as Adam was that our encounter happened in Saint Louis, Missouri of all places. “Some people like it here,” he once said to me. This came in the middle of a conversation I was having with him about how I wouldn’t be hanging around in the Midwest too long. Sure enough, he didn’t hang around long either. Perhaps that’s part of why I respect him so much. Saint Louis is a fine city, but I knew I wasn’t meant to live there. He knew it too. Had either of us stayed there, we would have been settling. Since parting ways, I’ve moved to South America and he’s moved to Europe. I shake my head pleasantly at the thought of him in Europe—it just feels right, like that’s where he needs to be.

It’s difficult to express what sort of an impact Adam had on my life. He was, first and foremost, a little spice added to a temporarily bland existence, but he ended up being so much more than that. I quickly grew comfortable with the idea of having Adam as a friend. He had lived, experienced a slice of the world that I was looking to explore. He had stories to tell and ideas to share, but didn’t shove his experiences in my face either. He has more to bring to the table in conversation than the majority of people do, but he remains interested in whomever he speaks with, engaging them as if they have just as much to contribute on the side of interesting as he does. After just two brief months of knowing him, I was bummed to learn he wouldn’t remain a part of my life, but I knew in order for him to continue on his incredible journey, he had to leave Saint Louis.

How many straight dudes will be in a “gay play” being put on by a gay organization as a fundraiser? The answer to that question didn’t matter to Adam. Since I’ve already stepped outside of the realm of “normal” by posting blogs specifically about people I care about, just to let the world know how cool they are, I suppose there’s no need to hold back…Adam probably entered my life at the precise moment that I needed him to. He was an unexpected character in the story of my life, one who—for lack of a better phrase—changed my perspective on life, at least a little bit. Encountering Adam taught me that you never need to settle, it’s OK to just be who you are through and through, you can sport strange facial hair if you want to, and you never need to “get boring.” Life is each of ours for the taking. I think that’s something I took away from knowing him those two months. How very thankful I am that we crossed paths.

I hope that the people who come across Adam, who get to share a day or a year with him, realize how lucky they are to be in such great, welcoming company. He’s truly something out of the ordinary—extraordinary.

I don’t think he’d mind me posting this link to his music: (try to find the song specifically titled “For Matt”, it a’int called that for nuttin’).

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