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December 20, 2013

Who Made a Difference for Me This Year: John Crist

December 20, 2013

You always want your friends to do well in life. Who wouldn't want that? That's like saying you always want your family to be healthy. It goes without saying, and it's something I don't actively think about often. But 2013 was different to me in that I got to live that out in the life of one of my close friends. Watching and supporting John Crist as he pursued his dream and success made a difference for me in 2013.

I’ve known John for a decade now. We were college friends and fraternity brothers. I met him as he showed up 3.75 hours late to a 4-hour volunteer opportunity the two of us were (supposed to be) doing for our fraternity's charity. Since college, even though we live across the country from each other, we’ve kept in touch weekly. During football and basketball seasons, we’re talking every single day in some capacity. Sports has always kind of been the glue that’s kept us close friends. Until 2013. This year, I got to watch John go all out in pursuit of something he’s realized is a passion of his – standup comedy.

He’s been doing standup for a few years now, but 2013 was the year that he dedicated nearly every waking moment of his life to the craft. He started saying yes to almost every show opportunity put in front of him. One time, he performed at a local Chili’s restaurant...but he’s also doing things like: spending an entire month in California just to check out other acts, take notes, and refine his act to get better and grow. 2013 was the year that instead of taking pictures of himself like this, he turned up the sex appeal and started taking pictures like this. He built a nationwide tour himself. I visited him in Denver and right next to a painting he got from Pottery Barn (his idea of having "adult decor") is a piece of notebook paper taped to his wall with a list of comedy goals for the year in his face every day. His nose is on the grindstone, and he's churning out jokes and new fans every night. His do-what-it-takes work ethic influenced my own during those weeks in 2013 I was up against a deadline and working long days and late nights. 

Rooting for John in 2013 was just as important and fun to me as it ever was performing in a band or recording a record. Watching him discover what he loves and do everything in his power to realize his potential and find success is constantly inspiring to me. In a weird way, his comedy has made us closer friends. He invited me to be a part of his "inner circle" of people he can bounce jokes off of, serve as advisors to him and would hold him accountable as he lives most of his life on the road now. 

Becoming one of John's biggest cheerleaders in 2013 made a difference for me and transformed my friendship with him. I'm already eagerly awaiting his 2014 Indy tour dates. 

This post is part of Think Kit by SmallBox
Today’s prompt: Who made a difference for you this year?

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