31 Days, 31 People
Day 21: DAVE W.
For a while, I worked with this guy that I didn’t really get. When I’d ask people who knew him, “What am I missing?” they’d always respond with, “You just have to get to know him.” This was a challenge for me because I just didn’t click with this guy most of the time. We got along well enough when we were in the same room, but we really didn’t spend much time in the same room. We were working at a company where we were both remote employees and we never really had any overlap in roles. When we did end up in the same room at the same time it was usually at a holiday party or for a client pitch, nothing we couldn’t be grown up enough to get along with each other for. But there was always this tension. There was always this side of Dave that I just didn’t understand.
About a year after he was no longer working at this company, we found ourselves speaking at the same conference in Ireland. The day after the conference, almost everyone had gone, but my flight wasn’t until the following day. I was in the hotel bar working when wouldn’t you know it, Dave walks in. We ended up talking.
The cool thing was, Dave had the boldness to bring up the awkwardness of our not-quite-friendship right away. So, I thought, “Well, here it is. Time to speak my mind.” Dave and I did the dialogue-equivalent of emptying our bags on the table and we sorted through everything. We spoke candidly and l believe we came to understand each other. We got to know each other on a more human level. By the time I left for my plane I felt like I’d made a new friend.
About a month later, we were at another conference, this time Australia, and again we hung out. We talked about collaborating on some projects in the future. We’d started a few takes on a project called Hovercraft to Paris several months later. Before we launched that project, I ended up co-hosting the podcast show Dave and Lex already had going called Unprofessional. Lex had decided to leave, Dave and I already had a decent chemistry from recording our unreleased show. We did 26 weeks of shows, bringing Unprofessional to episode 100 before putting things on hold. We had projects of our own we wanted to pursue and we still had this idea for Hovercraft to Paris we wanted to get out into the world. We finally kicked that off, we’ve done two weeks worth (two episodes). And it already feels like one of my favorite projects ever!
I’m grateful for Dave and here’s why. While we didn’t always get along, Dave’s ability to take the first step in being uncomfortably direct allowed us to forge a really good friendship. That friendship has allowed us to make some projects that right now, are some of my most favorite projects ever. These projects are pushing me outside comfort zones. And even more than just having ideas about things, we’re putting things into action. Making stuff and getting it out into the world.
I appreciate that you took that initial step, Dave. I appreciate our friendship and the really cool stuff we make. Let’s keep rockin’!
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