I finally got to realize a long held professional dream last week when we spent three days in Portland on the campus of the world's largest sporting goods brand. They'll be clothing the 2012 Olympic Team so we went to see the Spring 11 lines and meet with all the people who will be working on our product assortment. After eight years in that industry-always watching that brand and often feeling jealous of their resources and talent pool-it was certainly thrilling to see behind the curtain a little. Best of all, I think we are on track to do some really cool stuff that the athletes and staff are going to love wearing and that all of you are going to want to buy ; )
The funniest part about spending three days in Portland however, was the fact that there were more people I wanted to squeeze into the brief time I had there than I have managed to make friends with in nearly a year (what???)here in Colorado Springs. We had a design office up there when I was at RYKA so I have quite a few old coworkers and contractors there that I would love to have seen. Portland is also still a relatively affordable city so I have a number of friends who have moved there with their families. The result is that we kept pretty busy with meetings and dinners and I had to settle for about an hour with my dear Emily before she had to go to work and I missed out entirely on everyone else.
I'm not sure it's the actual definition of irony but then I come back to the Springs and go days and days where my social calendar consists of me, myself and I. I can't help wondering if I have missed the point of creating a vast network of people I love when I just move every few years and have to start all over again. Before you feel too sorry for me, I have definitely made some friends here-an odd mix of a few people I knew in previous lives who have ended up here and some new ones I like quite a bit. But sometimes I find myself thinking-do I really have to do this all over again?
Last month I had two visits from good Boston friends. I'm convinced I nearly talked them both to death because it felt so good to be around people I don't have to do the "hey, like me!" tap dance with. It might say something deeper about me that the person I've gotten closest to here in the last nine months is moving in a week.
I never imagined that at 33 it would still be so exhausting and terrifying to make new friends. An example from this very week. I've been hanging out with some girls a mutual friend introduced me to when I first got here. They are all very cool and smart and creative and interesting and I am enjoying broadening my scope beyond the usual Singles Ward crowd (the whole "getting booted from the singles congregation because you turn 31" is a subject for another post entirely. So many mixed feelings there even two years later.). But it's still a new group and although people rarely believe this about me, I'm actually pretty shy. So Friday night one of them mentioned that her friend Tom was going to be showing the USA vs. England World Cup game on his giant home theater screen and I should for sure come over. I had been to a movie night at his place once so he wasn't a complete stranger. Heather called Saturday morning to say she would be late but I should just head over to Tom's so I wouldn't miss any of the game. So even though I can give presentations to CEO's and negotiate with sports agents, I almost came up with an excuse so I wouldn't have to show up by myself. Fortunately the difference between being 16 and being 33 is that instead of indulging your fears and hiding in your room, you suck it up and you go to Tom's anyway and you have a perfectly lovely time watching the game with a bunch of not at all scary people.
It's tempting to think perhaps the solution is to live and work in Colorado Springs but visit my friends and family elsewhere as much as my bank account allows (see "pretty much all of 2010 thus far"). However, I've got myself pretty committed to the Olympics in Russi and Brazil which means, it's probably a good idea to work a little harder here. And when I am in "count my blessings" mode instead of "everything is the worst" pity party mode, the fact that any given Friday night I could transport myself to about 10 cities and have someone I adore to hang out with is a pretty fabulous gift. If Heaven really does turn out to be like my belief system says and we all get to keep being friends for the rest of forever, I'm imagining the most killer eternal block parties. And thus, I should start adding more people to the invite list I suppose.
It won't start this weekend though, I head to SLC this Thursday night for the Fourth Annual Clifford Clan Ragnar Relay fest. After years of threatening to do it, this time finally booked rooms in Park City so post-race we can take stupid long showers, sleep soundly in big beds someone else has to make, sit in the hot tub and eat ourselves silly. I'll have some bonding time with Morgan and new little Wyatt and get to spend Father's Day with my dad for the first time in I don't remember how long.
Speaking of things that are awesome, I can't stop listening to this version of "Poker Face" from Glee. These women are obscenely talented. More of this please Hollywood!