I also got to meet up with a friend who I met during a two week stint at Georgetown University when I thought I wanted to go into the medical field. He did go that route (along with law) and is doing some great things with medical policy and giving back to the community. We haven't seen each other since 1999 but it was great catching up and discovering what life has dealt us and how we have managed.
Plus, I got to say hi to a researcher who worked with my company while doing his doctoral research. His research has benefited, and continues to benefit, my company. Even though he has been late for both of the times I have scheduled to meet him (kind of a pet peeve of mine) he is a great guy with a lot of potential in his field of expertise.
Another great thing about attending the conference was reconnecting with several professionals in my field who have become great friends and a huge support system for me. We have formed a great bond over many late nights of drinking and singing. That bond continues to grow strong as we open up our personal lives and invite them to spend time in it away from work. Our careers don't take a back seat to our friendships but they get better and more defined. We have learned how to mold our professions into something that we want to share, we want other people to be excited about, and we want to help others succeed. The gap between work life and personal life begins to shrink because these amazing friends are part of both worlds.
I left last Wednesday and I woke up that day like it was Christmas morning. Super excited to be in colder weather and surrounded by people who are truly inspiring. I can't wait to see these amazing people again!