Tuesday, October 4, 2011

design centric night out

most of the time, i typically see myself as a relatively smart person.

well, smart in a very logical, data analytical, and organized sort of way.

yet in other ways, i can be more than a bit clueless...and usually, i'm aware of my deficiencies in certain areas which is why i will put in extra effort in those areas to try to make up for it (i.e., social awkwardness in non-work situations). sometimes, i don't even realize how clueless i can be until i find myself in an environment and wondering why i feel like someone just smacked me with a virtual 2x4...and then i'm like "duh, you should have seen this one coming."

when i first booked the ticket to inforumsf event on "how to design a sustainable future" i had no idea it was a pecha kucha event. i really didn't even pay attention to how it was in the levi's building. it wasn't until i arrived to the levi's plaza....walking up battery....when i felt like someone unexpectedly smacked me.....as memories....the memories came flooding in. a couple of lifetimes ago, i worked at an office right on the plaza. there was a group of us that used to sneak into levi's to visit their canteen to pick up things for breakfast.

i haven't been back in years.

as i sat down in a spot near the edge of the plaza, looking out of the window at an eerie familiar scene....

i just kind of surrendered to the memories.

you know what i remember quite distinctly? not the work itself but of someone that used to come by my office...everyday....at lunchtime or at 3:30 in the afternoon....i could set my clock by when he would have his face pressed up against the glass...indicating that he wanted to take a break and that he wanted me to join him. it was a habit that carried over from years we had worked together at a different company. he was pretty insistent that i should eat and take a break....of course, never really admitting that he also wanted me to keep him company or someone that wouldn't roll their eyes about how many times a week he'd want to have breakfast food for lunch. he would usually say something like "normal people take breaks [insert real name here]. you need to stop working."

i remember how much of an effort he would make to hang out and be nice to my then lover....who he didn't like....and it was a total mutual dislike btw....but how he was the only one of my friends that made that effort. i remember my merciless guffaws when he came to work sore because he decided to get on a skateboard in an effort to connect with my then lover....who had been skating since he was a wee lad...and this particular friend was incredibly not athletic...being on a national championship debate team was more of his thing than a skateboard. i also remember half cackling and half cringing when i found out that he and my then lover went out drinking and dancing (sans me). dancing wasn't really either of their strengths. i remember my then lover wasn't too thrilled that this person was one of my best friends. i also remember being very clear that i don't give up friends for guys i'm dating....sort of a "bros-before-hos-kind-of-thing". this is non-negotiable. what can i say? i admit that i can be hard person to be with. i also remember how he was the first person i told when i became engaged...i walked to his office just a couple of doors down from mine...and just pointed to my hand. he got off the phone.

i also remember he was one of the first people i talked to when i realized i'd be filing divorce papers shortly....me crying on the phone while he was in colorado for a conference.

i remember fielding quite a few comments on why we weren't together....on why we were with other people. i remember lots and lots of things that i never told him about. i bet i also remember lots and lots of things that he's forgotten.

between the both of us, i have the better memory.

i know that the reason why we became so close was because we were with other people. it afforded a space for us to become close....not have the same walls/obstacles/defenses/etc that comes with "dating" someone....and through the connections that happen when going through extremely high pressure high performing environments that we'd been through together for over 5 years. it felt like an "us against the world" scenario.

yet, that was a couple of lifetimes ago.

now, i was about to go to a very designer-oriented event of all things....which was unintentional. i am very interested in design, design thinking, and incorporate protocols and principles into my own work....but i wouldn't have gone if i realized it was actually a pecha kucha event when i booked the ticket. the design world is even smaller than the food world. it was an event that i have a feeling that he'd be at if he was still in sf. an event that reminds me of him and that i am not able to talk to him about it.

do i miss him?


do i wish that things had turned out differently?


do i have regrets?


do i think we should still be talking?


does it make me sad to know that i think this way?


but it doesn't make me any less sad or miss him any less either.

i should have realized earlier that going to a designer-centric event at old haunts was going to elicit an emotional reaction. yet, i still went to the event because i'm not exactly gentle with myself and this sort of thing. i had more of a "suck-it-up-and-deal-with-it" talk with myself before going in. i'm glad that i did....a couple of the speakers ideas and insights will stay with me for a while....which is the reason why i go to inforumsf events. i consider the events to be "brain food".

maybe next time though, i'll just be a wee bit more aware.


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