4 Years!

14 Feb

It is exactly 4 years to the day that I started working for my current company. My first real job after grad school. I had interned with the same company during the summer and despite other offers, there was a certain familiarity and draw that this place held. Part of this draw was the group of friends I had made during my internship who were going to be coming back to work full-time with me.

For some background, I was 22- bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I had landed on the US shores at 21 and hated every minute of grad school. Had no friends to speak of and overall was miserable. My summer however had been delightful .i made some really good friends , I had experienced what financial independence looked like and had loved living alone for 3 months.

So we all started work on the same day. All of us between the ages of 22-26. About 6 guys and 2 girls .All of us with rose-tinted glasses of making it big in the corporate world.

The first 2 years were spent with tons of eating out (we did this Friday night, Saturday lunch and dinner and Sunday  buffet at a desi restaurant), lots of random trips to neighboring cities, kayaking, jet skiing trekking, other outdoor and water stuff,  several mini golfing evenings ( we ended up knowing the courses surrounding us so well that it became a bore to do this), multiple evenings bowling (some in really sidey but cheap places),laser tag ( chasing 12-year-olds and defending our fort), consuming  numerous pizzas at someone’s places and watching random movies of every genre possible.

The 4 years have seen several changes for our little group.

Professionally there have been some layoffs, some rehires, some promotions, some disappointments.

Personally there have been big fights and patching up, serious car accidents, multiple heartbreaks, broken engagements, several weddings and now the first new baby who arrived a few weeks ago.

There been professional jealousies, bitching, sulking, moments when we have made excuses to not hang out, trips that were not really satisfactory to all parties.

There have also been 2 am comfort calls, never missing showing up to a birthday at 12 midnight with cake and champagne, always , always big dinner parties with home cooked food when anyone’s parents visit, not being able to attend each other’s weddings in India but having your parents , grandparents and siblings go instead (because your entire family knows you are friends), midnight coffee shop chats about qualities desired in future soul mates …

Then when the soul mates (spouses) made an entrance into people’s lives, there have obviously been discussions, ratings( in the absence of the person and new spouse ,of course) on looks, personality niceness, compatibility and  general conversational ability.

Marriage, babies, significant others changes things in a group. We don’t meet every weekend anymore. We do not perpetually have IM conversation windows open with each other at work. We don’t meet for lunch from work all that often. We may not be as close as we were to every single person in the group. We no longer hang out for 8 hours at a stretch.

I still know though that these are my go-to friends, come what may. I do not need to meet or talk to them each weekend to even know this. I can discuss pressing work politics and contemplating move questions honestly with them, I can call  them through tears when I am freaking worried that the hubsadoo isn’t answering his phone and has not been seen or heard for hours(  his phone ‘s  charging died but he scared us a little) ,I can ask for a 4 am ride to the airport and I can gossip for hours about the love interest of the moment and get the finer details.

All in all, this set of people has been a big part of my life in the last 4 years. Probably my first real set of friends in life. I was the kid whose dad was in a transferable job and I studied in 7 different schools, 5 different cities, 2 different countries and never stayed long enough to have a “best friend”. I had a decent group in college to be fair but it’s not like I am in touch with all or even 2 of them. I had no friends in the 16 months of grad school, only acquaintances.

As we all go our separate ways in a few months / years, I know we won’t be there with cake and champagne bringing in birthdays at midnight but I hope some of this closeness remains.

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