“I just got my Newsletter from Hamilton. I saw your picture in it. I didn’t know you were still in the area! I though you had moved out to Cali or something and were living the dream.” I had completely forgotten that I was asked for my photo to be used in the Newsletter at the museum, but the connecting was a very recent and wonderful surprise. I hadn’t spoken to him since college, and even then we all mostly talked about design work because we were always in the Mac Lab sipping coffee and trying to figure out how to get Photoshop to work with us at 2 am. It was nice to hear from him. I was glad for the familiar mannerisms. For the connection from my past. It was so welcomed. Even a bit moving. I missed many of my college buddies. I missed the fellowship we had been, even if our relationships hadn’t been that deep.
As if reading my mind he messaged me again. “A sad thought: Isn’t it weird how in school we flattened the dimentionality of every person in our design classes and missed making actual friends with each-other? I kind of wish I could rewind time and fix that..”
“I totally feel you on that. I wish I had broken down some walls a bit more. We can take this as a ‘it’s not too late yet.’”
“Yeah, if I have an oportunity to speak into any of the current designers lives back in school, its always to say, go be with eachother, set your work aside and get to know your fellow designers, ’cause they are going to help you.”
“I keep telling my mom that in my adulthood I’m terrified that from here on out all I’m building is a network…and I’m not going to have anyone who is just a friend anymore. You and I see very much the same in that regard.”
“Yeah totally! Like every person you are in contact with will just be a means to an end…ick. Not what I want.”
I extended the invitation for him to stay with me if he was ever in the area. He said he’d call if he was going to be around here and told me that if I was ever in his area to give him a call too. It felt good to know someone out there had tried and wanted desperately to reconnect. It gave me hope for my adult life. It reminded me people genuinely took notice of me for something outside of what I could do for them…and just wanted to be friends again. Wanted to get to know me and be involved in my life.
We chatted a bit more. Asking the questions of what the other was up to and eventually we got back to my time at the Museum.
“What do you love most about working at Hamilton?” He had asked, curiously.
I feel like I don’t have the words for it. I feel like there is almost too much to say about what I love about that place. Too much to say about what I have learned there. So many emotions and feeling about everything. So many deep connections. Just…so much.
I had began typing a response back.
“What I love about Hamilton the most is getting back with my people. With fellow creatives and working on a common goal. Being passionate together and building those friendships. Of course I love the designing too! I love how kinetic the design is in letterpress. It’s so unlike working on a computer screen. It’s more personal. Has more character. My hands have touched each piece of type and that type has been touched by hundreds of hands before me. Including the people I work with now and have come to love. There is such….at risk of sounding a bit New Age…a very pertinent and pivotal vibe of love with those people and in that place. I cant even begin to describe it. It cured so many emotional aliments for me. What I do there matters for greater and more meaningful reasons.
I hope that makes sense.”