The Drippy Castle Decision.

My four year old niece walks up to strangers on the beach and just starts playing with them. She doesn’t ask. She just starts doing whatever they’re doing. A couple of kids are usually tentative to let her hang. Very closed off. Very thinky. Very protective.

But there was this one little girl that let her build a drippy castle with her. There was very minimal talking. No real strategy. No care about what happened before or after. Just making. Throughout the rest of the day, they would go and do their own things, but they’d always find time to come back to the same location and continue the crafting.

Five years ago, I met one of the best humans I know by asking him if he wanted to link for a song writing session. I didn’t know him. But I heard a couple of his songs and he could sing. I couldn’t sing. So boom, a partnership. We started coming up with hooks and melodies and concepts. We didn’t know what would come of that initial session. Like many other attempts to build creative relationships, it could have been the first and the last.

Fortunately, it lead to about twenty five videos, two hundred songs, and countless moments that developed our skills as producers, leaders, and project managers.

But in the last couple of years, we’ve lost touch with each other. Not in a fall-out kind of way, but the things we built together were ultimately what separated us. We both landed big fun new cool projects that pulled us away from each other. We still consult and catch up, but it’s very sparingly.

Yesterday, I added up all the hours I’ve been alive. Not sure why, but it was a powerful practice to look at my life on paper as a number. I examined those hundreds of thousands of life hours I’ve been blessed with the health and the mental capacity to thrive on planet earth.

The purpose of this activity was to reflect on the things that gave my life meaning. But all I could think of was the total number hours I’ve spent on social media, hours spent in worry, hours spent in idle chatter, hours spent thinking about the people who screwed me over and didn’t give me what “I so rightly deserve gosh darn-it!”.

It freaked me out of the possibility that when I am old and grey and about to pass, the only life that flashes before my eyes will be a montage of other people’s snapchat stories.

It was a depressing feeling when I estimated that less than one percent of all those hours were spent doing things of meaning or purpose.

Sure, I learned some stuff to get me to this point. All failures are lessons, yes. But the things that gave me the most feeling and positive emotion, were things that were built in collaboration: the projects, the relationships, the drippy castles.

If I never asked him to to meet for that writing session on that day, I wouldn’t have the friendship that facilitated all those moments of growth.

Some of my friendships are maintained by watching the same network shows and discussing their painfully excruciating cliffhangers. That’s all good and well. Personally, it’s much more rewarding to build a friendship bymaking the show.

Even if that show never airs. Even if the business fails. Even if the voyage is laughed at.

It’s the process of being in the middle of the chaos together that brings value to the relationship. It’s the fact that I can go anywhere on earth, and we can remember specific moments of despair on the battlefield when we picked each other up to keep going.

Hours after I did the odd task of counting the hours of my life (that’s even more embarrassing to write the second time), said friend and myself linked up for the first time in way too long. We made the decision, that once again, we will commit to a build a drippy castle together.

No deliberation. No eye contact. No hurt feelings over whose line is whose.

Just building.

One day a week until it’s done. If it takes three months, if it takes five years, all that matters is we finish it. We both have commitments, jobs, baes, and real priorities that will challenge the craftsmanship of our drippy castle.

But this project will inject life and color to all of those things.

If it leads to paper stacks. Cool, just a cherry on top.

If any career achievement or award that our parents can brag to their friends about comes of it, so be it.

If it shows up in a theatre, or Netflix, or Seth Rogen is the main character, lovely. He’s a funny dude.

But, we can’t think about that right now. All that matters now is dripping amorphous clumps of gloppy sand and seeing what happens.

This time, we realize that the drippy castle is bigger than ourselves. All sappiness aside, if it’s not for the idea, it’s for our friendship.

***let’s be friends on my weekly email: