Thursday, January 27, 2011

A tale of two friends

Two important friends have been on my mind a lot lately. Today I got information about them and learned that one is doing well, better than I suspected, and the other ... well, not so much.

First, him. My best friend. He works very hard in a profession he's not that great at. Oh, he does his job well -- better than competently. I can say this objectively and honestly because I was his colleague for a couple of years. He's conscientious and very good at reaching consensus and making both his clients and internal team feel appreciated and happy. However he's not an especially strong strategist. I suspect this isn't where his heart is, anyway. But he's nearing 45, has a family and a million dollar home and it's hard to follow one's heart with an enormous mortgage hanging around your neck. ANYWAY, he had a victory at his office this week. His bosses have entrusted a new client to him, I think exclusively. He's handling the focus groups today. While his soul may not be singing with this new assignment, I know his pride and self confidence are bolstered. The path he's on may not be his heart's desire, but it's the one he's chosen. And because he's a good man and a good friend, I want it to go as smoothly as possible.

Now, her. My oldest friend. Her move to California is looking more and more like a disaster. So far this month: she learned her 14-year-old daughter hid pot in her suitcase when she traveled to Chicago for the holidays with her father. Then my friend's weak ankles (which she refuses to get looked at because she's sure a doctor will embarrass her by telling her to lose 50 lbs) gave out and she slammed her shoulder into a wall, losing a few days of work because of bursitis. Yesterday her bosses "bumped" her from her job at the hospital to a new one because the doctors she works with don't have faith with her. She shouldn't have made this move when she did and how she did, but now that she's out there, we have to figure out a way to make it work somehow. I'm glad she's begun seeing a shrink again, and she has a general practitioner who can help her start getting well. I researched a community action group that devotes their Saturdays to food/coat drives, cleaning up parks etc. Hopefully her daughter will get involved with those volunteers and begin concentrating on something beyond popularity and partying.

Knowledge is power. Now that I know what's going on with these two that I love, I feel stronger. Even if, in her case, I wish the news was better.

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