Sometimes we stick our stake in the ground and hold on for dear life. Our dentist is a master collaborator, and all of his co-workers are exceptional. On our last visit, they had just moved into a brand new workspace. It was the first day in their new home, and life was a bit crazy. There were designers, workman and engineers roaming around the space. Lots of machinery wasn't yet operational and finding necessary tools were a bit like a game of hide and seek.
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As a teenager I felt like that solid, red pimple with no give, no whitehead ripe for a satisfying squeeze. The pain on the outside reflecting the tense churning and discomfort underneath. A differentness I knew would keep me permanently locked out of their circle, disconnected from everyone else who seemed so in tune with one another. They had best friends. I never did.
It's rare for anyone in Hollywood to speak about someone's exemplary conduct on the set, an environment that's usually treated as off-limits, since how the sausage is made is best left unexamined. But some 50 years after working with Andy Griffith, Ron Howard's remembering the spirit of that generous work environment shows how lasting an impression such professionalism, joy and kindness can have on a young person.
At some point in life, most of us have probably thought it would be idyllic to live in a place where people know and support each other, leave their doors unlocked with confidence and are afraid of practically nothing. Once upon a time that kind of living seemed commonplace. These days? Not so much.