SAN FRANCISCO—Wearily recounting what, at first, seemed to be unrelated stories, a group of tired friends who had found themselves changed for the better over the course of their day met up at Kelly’s Pub Monday evening to discuss their thematically linked, lesson-bearing days. “You know, life is funny. Take Sarah, who might have lost that big promotion but found a little piece of herself, or Corey, who may have broken up with an attractive but completely incompatible girlfriend, only to find himself relieved instead of heartbroken—things might not have worked out how they expected, or even wanted, but they wound up with what they needed,” said painfully earnest young designer Nick Pearson, watching his peer group of vastly different but somehow perfectly matched companions commiserate as his internal monologue noted that “I guess ‘family’ just means ‘friends who have your back no matter what’” and that “In the end, our struggles make us, well, us.” “Maybe, like Michelle, you spend all day flirting with the cute barista who, in a crazy turn of events, turns out to be gay. Maybe you’re like Jordy, trying to figure out how to tell your stereotypically overbearing mom that just because you need space doesn’t mean you don’t need her. The fact is, the truth finds a way out. Always. And when it comes? You have to accept it. You have to be open to change, too, and with the help of the people who mean the most to you, well, you just might be okay.” At press time, the motley gang of twenty-something friends had finished discussing their trying but character-defining experiences and returned to the 5,000-square-foot apartment in downtown San Francisco they have shared since college.