You can't love me. You have to love yourself.

It was a dream.  A very disconcerting dream.  But ultimately just a dream. 

The damnedest part is that it’s proven to be very real, very tangible and very much something I have taken into myself. 

I have terrible, horrible news that is going to strike fear into the hearts of so many friends and family around me.  One of those shell blasts that’s about to go off just over your head.  That sense of danger that permeates the air around you.  The skeleton in the closet, the secret that just whispering the truth will forever alter the world and the relationship you have with those around you.  I’m sorry.  I must break my silence. 

On Twitter, one of the things I discovered very early was that I began to value people the people I followed for a whole pile of different reasons.  It was very important to me that people understand that I did value them and I tried to explain how and why they improved my life by typing 140 characters or less at a time.  Follow Fridays became a time to try to express that - not only to let the friends I had met and never seen understand they were valued, but also to try to connect the friends I followed with each other and let the shared interests connect and conflate with each other. 

Ultimately it became unmanageable.  But I miss those days because I rarely get a chance to express that in the same way any longer.  Instead I started creating lists and categorized people in very broad terms.  These are my Follow Friday (#FF) lists and I still use them on a daily basis.

TopOfTheWorld started with @Astro_Mike.  When I think Top Of The World, I’m thinking of the guys that are up there both in body and in mind.  The people who teach me and make me want to learn something new daily and stretch out to become more than I am.

When I made my second list, I was trying to come up with something that encapsulated the idea that this was a hugely disparate collection of people who may or may not have anything to do with each other.  Excepting than the fact that they are valued and very, very welcomed in my life for a whole variety of reasons.  I must have had an inspired moment when I chose the proper name, “Good For My Soul.”

Some days I do better on the interacting front, lately I’ve been doing a lot of broadcasting on Twitter and not nearly enough time valuing the friends - true friends - I share time with.  I’ll do better and worse over the summer as my life waxes and wanes.  Through it all, I know that those who’s life I share in 140 characters will still be there to welcome me time after time when I come back.

Good For My Soul is a way of saying, “These people are extra-special to me.  I pay special attention, it’s a good idea that you should pay attention to them too.“  But I also feel a little rush of joy when someone states, “Zarquil thinks that I’m good for his soul!”

You are.  It’s awesome.  You enhance my life and make it better.  There’s probably a whole pile of people who ought to be on that list that I never seem to think about when it’s convenient.

One of the best things that happened with Twitter is having world-wide connections.  No matter what time of the day I’m on, I’ll see someone I like and care about.  Mornings are filled with awesome Brits, afternoons and early evenings I hear a lot from eastern North America, late evenings from the west coast and really late evenings from the Pacific Rim.  Repeat for as long as the earth rotates.

The benefit of having this nonstop, 24 hour reinforcement of fantastic people is that it has become a 24 hour, 7 day a week reinforcement of myself.  Encouraging me to become better, to do more, to act responsibly, to be respectful of others.

The benefit of the constant reinforcement is starting to express itself in a peculiar way.  It has only been in the reflection of you, dear friends, that I’m understanding what has been happening with me.

I love space.  I love interesting photography.  I love music.  I love curling.  I love cycling.  I love writing.  I love poetry.  Apparently I even love politics. 

For the first time in years I’m reconnecting with a whole lot of pieces that are intrinsic to me, but that have been neglected.  I’m becoming more than I am by returning to that who I was.  A fuller, more complete me-who-I-always-was. 

Don’t miss the subtlety there.

So to return full circle and unleash what will undoubtedly cause great fear and apprehension and concern.  I’m very sorry, dearest friends.  It has to be said. 

I have fallen terribly, deeply, frighteningly in love.  The object of my affection is one of those people on Twitter and the moment I plunge into the next sentence I know there will be no turning back ever again.

I love myself and the man I’ve become.  Today I’ll woo myself by trying to become more than I am by remembering who-I-always-was.