Bastards Of Young

What can we complain about this week?

I was reading some blog archives, and came across a post about friendship and how it relates to a career. I thought about it. And I came to the conclusion that my friends have helped me immensely, but not in the ways most people would imagine. I came the following conclusions, and have found them to be crucial for me, both in my career and in my life.

My friends couldn’t care less about what I do for a living

At first glance, that would appear to be a negative thing. But is it? My friends don’t look at me as another reference or networking tool. While we certainly all do that for each other (I’ve gotten a few people jobs at the firm I work for), it’s the the purpose. A good friend of mine and I get together at least once a week in my “cigar club” (my garage) and talk about everything from the latest Hot Water Music release to the proper way to set up a 4 port router to the latest in our social lives (I should say HIS social life. That cigar room IS my social life these days). I have numerous friends who are the same way. While we all could benefit from our individual connections, we’d rather just hang out and enjoy each other’s company.

They know where I came from, and where I could go

While I won’t go into the details, many of my friends know what I was like in my darkest times. We’ve all picked each other up off the floor (literally and figuratively), helped clean up the blood & broken glass, and in some cases even bailed each other out of jail. I know there’s still a video of me with a green mohawk throwing cans of beer at people in the streets of Savannah, GA one St. Patrick’s Day. No corner office will ever change that.

We were friends before anything else mattered

Now this isn’t the case for everyone. Since I’ve basically lived in the same county since I was 6, I am fortunate enough to have many friends that I’ve had for 10+ years, some even more. One good friend of mine recently graduated from pharmacy school, and is looking at a 6 figure income from the gate. We’ve been friends since 1st grade. We watch baseball, get lunch together when possible, and we’re planning on going to see a Yankee’s game this summer in NYC (finances permitting). Is that a pharmacist and an investment professional networking? No. It’s two lifelong friends enjoying baseball.


My friends certainly keep me grounded in my life. They help me have fun, shed the office mentality for a little while, and look back to time where none of that stuff really mattered. Adulthood is here to say, but with good friends, it’s bearable. In the words of Ferris Bueller, “If you have the means, I highly recommend it”.

{ 3 comments }

Monica O'Brien November 3, 2009 at 11:13 am

Andrew, I think it’s great that you have such strong friendships. I always get jealous of people like this because I have moved all my life – I don’t have friends who really know me inside and out. On one hand, it means I’m really close to my family (kind of by default) – on the other hand, yeah, I jealous :) .

Beautiful post.

Norcross November 4, 2009 at 7:34 am

It’s been one of the blessings in my life, to be honest. Having some of those friendships allow me to not take myself so seriously at times, since they can (and will) knock me down a few pegs if my ego takes over.

Ted Thonus November 7, 2009 at 7:10 pm

Andrew,

I’m coming in late on this response, but appreciate your post. Like Monica (above) I also moved often during my childhood so my strong friendships are since I graduated from college. As you get older take my advice and never tell an insurance agent that you ever smoked a cigar – even if it’s once or twice a month or on full moons. I’ve been paying a premium for life insurance that’s twice as high as it should be because at the time I would get together with my buddies and play poker and smoke a cigar here and there. I haven’t had a cigar in over 6 years, but I’m still paying for it. Take it easy my friend. PS – I’m not willing to comment on your most recent blog – I’ll have to think more on that one. : )