Getting dressed usually poses a multitude of dilemmas. It’s sort of annoying actually that “outfitting” is a daily requirement of life. There are certainly days when the hair, the light, the skin tone and the outfit all come together leaving JLo in the dust, but more often than not it’s a wing and a prayer. I don’t build in the time required and other things quickly take priority. So I was none too surprised to find myself in downtown Boston on a rainy Thursday night caught between the work clothes I had on and the gala clothes I needed to get on (stuffed inside a bag tucked under the backseat of my car ) with the only apparent changing room being my Ford Escape. Typical. These are the moments I wonder if I am meant to throw in the towel on this version of life and maybe find another more suitable.
But here is the thing. That Thursday night? It really didn’t matter. We could have been anywhere wearing jeans and t-shirts or any old thing. The dress up made it a worthy celebration but I felt equally bedazzled from the inside out. Imagine a room full of people where with every face you see you want to break a direct path to say hello and inquire on well-being and share a story or ask about something personal. Imagine hugs that last more than a second or a knowing smile that captures your heart. Imagine eyes lighting up at the familiarity of a name now attached to a face etched with character and kindness. Imagine being welcomed to your seat at a table for ten as if you were the very one they were waiting for. This wasn’t a charity event or something for my kids’ school. It wasn’t to support a cause or to listen to a famous speaker. It was an industry party for interior designers, architects, builders, craftsmen, vendors, and suppliers. It was my world all in one gorgeous room perched above the sparkly city below. It was my fiercest competition, witnesses to my grandest mistakes, those I have cost and who have cost me…friends, mentors heartbreaks, loves…those I hope for, value, and care for so deeply…and I know I was not alone in how I felt. You see none of us in the residential design build industry is spared from the passion. No matter the pecking order, we are all only one step away from the work and from what matters most. And because of that vulnerability-that delight and that heartache so palpable and so personally defining-when you bring us all together it’s a big raw, edgy, let’s-have-another Lovefest.
I think clients should know this—should see the joy we feel for each other and the work we do on their homes. And I think other industries should envy us for how we cherish the life we get to live, that we know how to prioritize, and that we exist with the mentality of abundance. And lastly, I think we should remind ourselves every now and again how lucky we are. ’Tis the season to be thankful and grateful and aware that I am living exactly the life I want to live.
So it’s worth memorizing the public bathroom layout at every nice downtown hotel just in case you find yourself needing a mirror and a bit of privacy. You didn’t really think I changed in my car did you?
In admiration and with thanks,
In case you’re curious, this is where we were: