Friendship, the Professional Version

Adulthood comes with some unexpected growing pains. If you are like me, you were about 30 when you first learned to really cook, maybe about 32 when you started giving customer service reps a hard time, and when you turned 34 you started walking your 5 year old to the bus stop (total out of body experience). You meet new friends in settings that are not always organic, you are caught somewhere between wanting to be fashionable but often times feeling like you are wearing an adult’s costume to work, and a lot of the time, again, if you are like me, you want to just throw in the towel and curl up on the couch with your college roommates and laugh about one of their oddly shaped toes.

But alas, you no longer get to yuck it up on the couch all day. Work calls! Instead, you get the privilege of using that love, that pure joy, those incredible laughs to fuel a desire to, forever more, look for friendships that bring you to that electric place. And since a lot of us are working most parts of most days, I think it’s pretty important to find that electricity with colleagues, with professional peers.

A couple of weeks ago, I got lunch with a general contractor, an investor, and a residential architect. At one time, many years ago, we all worked together on commercial interior projects. Now, we have all gone in slightly different directions but the ties that bind brought me to a special place…one of those moments when you’re watching yourself do something. I guess I felt young and old at the same time. I felt reinvigorated, talking about the DC market, about being an independent contractor, about ways we could collaborate. I also felt like I’d arrived. Not so much at a destination, but that I’d arrived at the airport, on time, had boarded the plane, and could feel all of us taking off. A bunch of adults, in our mid-30s, probably with many oddly shaped toes, creating careers for ourselves, and at the same time finding that happy place of pure joy and excitement and with enough naivety to not know that it will get even better.

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