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Category: potpourri

08/02/11 11:00 - ID#54848

Stay gold, Ponyboy...Stay gold.

When I started my first professional gig at 22 years of age, I got to work with a bunch of interesting characters who influence me even today. Looking back at that period in my life, it was a great work environment with lots of smart, motivated people.

One of these characters was a salesman who had long hair, a BMW convertible, and a carefree, "I don't give a shit" demeanor about him which I greatly admired. He was an author and a traveler. A worldly, flawed, independent person. I was a naive, wide-eyed kid who got to hang out with the older guys.

This man wrote a literary non-fiction novel, loosely based upon his career, and, of course I was a minor character in the book. He gave me a signed copy of the book and wrote inside of it "Stay gold, Ponyboy" which confused me. Was he breaking my balls? Complimenting me? I appreciated the gift but not knowing what he meant, put it at the back of my mind and sort of forgot about it until tonight.

For some reason or another this quote came up in conversation tonight while hanging out with some friends. I learned it was from a book, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. The discussion rejuvenated these decade old memories of my early adulthood so I went home to learn about the book and in particular the blurb my friend wrote to me.

I learned something interesting....he was telling me to stay how I was, to stay innocent. Here I was, at 22, wishing I was more like he was in some ways, and he wanted for me to not change my nature. There was something good in it.

It is fascinating how the universe gives you what you need at the right time again and again. Here I was today, at the peak of my depression and bitterness over what happened with Josh and my ex-girlfriend, wondering whether those things were going to overcome my happy go lucky outlook on life. Yet the message was repeated to me at a time when I was ready to understand it. Stay how you are, Jason. You're fine as-is. Things come full circle. Amazing.
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