Megan Lovely . . .
Typically speaking - people fall in to two camps with me . . . people I think highly of and people I don't think anything "of".
As I've gotten older and deeper in to my career and now that I'm a parent I don't have the luxury of just dismissing people the way I once (incorrectly) thought I could. In hindsight - it was never appropriate for me to think or act that way.
What does this have to do with Megan Lovely? Everything.
I talk a LOT of crap about Megan. Some of it is fair and honest and warranted. Examples . . . She still has her baby teeth. She's got a horrible shock of red hair that looks coarse and unmanageable. She seems to be unlovable in almost every way. Now - also being fair - If teeth, hair, and lovability (not a word) made us who we were . . . I'd be screwed. I have very soft teeth that will eventually be replaced with dentures (thanks, gene pool), I'm balding at a horrifying pace, and I'm probably the least lovable person on the planet who was not a sociopath, dictator, actual criminal, or hybrid of the above.
You know what else is honest and fair about Megan Lovely? She's brilliant. I don't mean that in some toss-around, casual way that you described smart people in your social or professional circle . . . I mean that in a genuine and true way. I would not want to know her actual IQ score (the jealousy would misdirect itself in ways that might include pushing her down on the playground) but I'll bet it is high. Very high. She's not "in your face" about her general grasp of the world around her (unless you challenge her first) but it is there and present from her perfect grammar to her vocabulary to her ability to just talk about "stuff".
I met Megan when she was 18 years old. A freshman in college and as unworldly as they come (fun fact - she won't drive on highways . . . still). She was able to - in a matter of seconds - go from sharing socio-insights in consumer behavior to describing colleagues in terms of forest creatures they most resembled with ease. Megan sat with and held her own with myself and a colleague we often referred to as the fourth Kennedy brother because of his ability to say horrible, sub-human things and yet somehow skate by as charming and stately (his "brother" Teddy drowned his girlfriend and went back to work Monday morning . . . to close the analogy). She uses the English language as a toy (the woman can not write a press release lead to save her life but she's otherwise a wordsmith in the truest sense of the word).
I should note here that Megan has not had an "easy" or "charmed" life (I mentioned she is a ginger, right?) but you would never really hear her complain. She dealt with losing her father to a long, arduous terminal bout with that f*cking whore we call "cancer" a year or so ago. It didn't really overtake her life while she dealt with it - just context. She doesn't seem the type to burden you with her woes.
It is also worth noting that Megan has superb character. She has a sense of duty and obligation to things and people that make no sense (that is a horrible non sequitur . . . her father was an amazing man by any and all counts) but that simultaneously weigh on and drive her.
She works harder than just about any member of her generation (and probably harder than some members of the Greatest Generation (outworking the average millennial is hardly a ringing endorsement)) and she's going to eventually be fantastic in whatever throne or thrones she chooses to sit during her This Is Me years.
In sharp contrast to how the world perceives me . . . I don't know anyone that doesn't like Megan Lovely. I know many people that love her from all over the "love" scale (ranging from drunken hug and shouts of "I love you, man" at the bar through the "If you ever need ANYTHING - including flesh, blood, organs, or last dimes - you call me.") but Megan is too smart to actually allow ANY of them to truly love her (she's still got plenty of time for that crap once she chooses a perch).
The only things I don't like about Megan are her stupid dog and that - after giving me a chance to work with her a second time - she took another job and left me just a few months in to our second era.
Beyond that - she's truly one of my favorite people in not only Wichita but the entire world for many, many reasons . . . not the least of which is that she has rough edges and defense mechanisms that remind me a little of mid-20s myself (including the "love" and "pound sand" buckets for people).
I mentioned earlier that I outgrew my dismissive phase and I'd like to say that I've blossomed a little bit - I am in that part of my professional life where I can start giving advice and "mentoring" (as much as a loose cannon and self-sabotaging professional can . . . do as I say, not as I DO being the normal advice to all young pros) and I am in that phase of my personal life where I only have quality people that I really enjoy taking up time and space.
I've outgrown many things in life that had to be left behind. I'm better for it. I've seen Megan do the same in many ways but there are is ONE thing I hope she never loses . . . her willingness to suffer me.