Well, the weekend trip was a huge success. Road trips are F-U-N fun. And I totally got called out for all my nerdiness at hour 2.5 when we were all laughing about something that made no sense and I said, “Hey! We already have an inside joke!” I was teased, and it was warranted.
After two days of new friend time (translation: wine, catchphrase, Bethenny Ever After), I came back to Chicago where a high school friend was in town for work. She’d been here all weekend, but since she was busy with meetings, we didn’t get to hang out until Sunday night. It was, as always, great to see her. And it reminded me of something I’ve been thinking a lot about as I near 30: How fascinating it is to see the friends I grew up with turning into such impressive, successful, smart people.
Take yesterday’s pal. Emily lives in Washington D.C, where she works in politics. She has had a direct hand in creating social change that will truly make the world a better place, and recently took a job where she will continue that work on a larger scale. If you can’t tell, I’m incredibly proud of her. Plus, she’s super smart and one of those people who doesn’t make me feel stupid when I have a question. I’m the first to admit that I have lots to learn when it comes to politics, and I feel comfortable asking Em because I know she won’t make me feel bad about not already knowing the answer.
Emily is just one of my many friends who does work that wows me—lawyers, doctors, television producers, artists, magazine editors. People are starting business, raising money for incredible non-profits, launching crazy successful websites. It’s not that I haven’t always admired my besties. I wouldn’t be friends with them if I didn’t consider them interesting, kind people.
But now that we’ve hit an age where we’re not just working at jobs but building careers, it’s incredible to step back and try to look at these people objectively. I’m constantly thinking, “Wow, I used to play dress up in your closet after Friday night high school basketball games and now you are legit doing Important Work.”
An old friend from summer camp sent me an email expressing a similar sentiment recently. “When I’m out with my camp friends, I love it when we’re talking about our professional lives. It makes me nostalgic that these are the girls that I played with when we were kids, performing in musicals and cheering in team clothes, and now they are successful, smart, professional women.”
It can make you feel old and suddenly grown-up, sure, but also so proud to call these people your friends.
Do you know that feeling? The one where you suddenly take a step back and marvel that the girl you used to have playdates with is suddenly this big-time, awesome professional? How does it make you feel? Proud? Jealous? Old? Nostalgic?
Book clubs are reading MWF Seeking BFF, and the conversations have been fascinating! Read it with your book club and you can use these discussion questions. Or I’d be happy to Skype with your group if it meets in April or later. (March is all booked up!)