As a kid, I had a close group of friends that weren't really that great. We had daily arguments and fights (physically), and just picked apart each other's looks and mannerisms often. I changed up my friend group in high school and met some awesome people in the process.
As I moved into adulthood I found it harder to make friends. I’ve traveled a lot and lived in a few cities and those experiences have made me smarter, wiser, and have given me better opportunities. The downside to that is that my relationships and connections aren’t that strong. The quote “it’s lonely at the top” is true. Many leaders I’ve met live in solitude and from the outside looking in just looks really sad.
I’ve always admired people with large friend groups and as I’ve gotten older I’ve found better enjoyment in hanging out with friends than spending time alone. One of my goals for this year is to make more friends and cherish and grow the relationships I already have.
When I arrive at the end of my life, I want to know that I’ve loved so much and that I’ve been so loved. Knowing that I spent my life on Earth enjoying the camaraderie with friends and family.
✍️ Quote of the week:
"I use to hate being alone until I felt lonely around other people, and that’s the worst feeling of all." -Robin Williams
🎶 Song of the week:
🧠 Learnings this week:
How to make friends - Something I wish I knew sooner is how friends evolve over time. That same rag-tag group of misfits you knew in your 20s grow into responsible adults in your 30s (at least some do). Some people you lose touch with and others become more of acquaintances through the years. But as soon as you find someone that impacts your life in a certain way, you do something about it to keep them around.
So when I started to look for more friends I remembered how it use to be so easy to make friends in school. Then it clicked. It’s easy to make friends in school because you share a common environment with people.
School makes it easy to make friends because you share a commonplace together consistently. And I want to stress the word consistently because that’s what works. Going to your favorite coffee shop consistently, going to a gym class consistently, attending a church consistently, or attending a meetup for Star Trek Lovers consistently will eventually open doors to new people because they begin being comfortable with a familiar face. Showing up occasionally just makes you a passerby in others' thoughts of you.
This is why people make most of their friends from their workplace because it’s a commonplace that people share consistently with one another. But in the new age of remote work and more distributed teams, it’s becoming harder to make friends in these new environments. Not to mention when you leave most of the friends you make tend to fade off into the void.
So if you’re trying to make friends with similar interests as you, join a sports activity you like, attend a meetup as often as possible, or do a game night every Thursday and tell your friends to invite their friends. The more the merrier.
🖍 Designer thoughts:
Being a “design team of one” for the past 2 years I’ve learned to navigate and tear through a lot of hardships of solitude. Luckily I’ve kept in touch with a lot of designers that I’ve met over my career. I usually reach out to them for design help, feedback, or just to see what’s new with them. Designers need other designers outside their domain to understand what’s buzz-worthy too. Is Figma still the tool of choice? Are research advisory groups better or one-off unmoderated tests? Is parallax scrolling still cool?
Designers tend to get siloed to a certain vision or idea and it’s up to us to be resourceful and ask for the help of mentors, and past colleagues.
👴 Dad thoughts
Sticking with the theme here, if any other dads want to hang out shoot me a message. BBQ, basketball team, book club, I’m up for it!
Have a great week!
📬 PS: Please do reply to this email if you have anything to add / or any questions. I quite enjoy replying to comments/emails as a source of procrastination from revision.
📬 PPS: Please hit the <reply> button and let me know what you thought of this email if you have a spare few seconds. I'd love to hear your thoughts on what was useful about it and what could be changed. Thanks <3