Thursday, May 22, 2014

The High Cost of Growing Up

Last night I was reunited with friends I have not seen in a very long time.
It was a strange encounter, peppered with awkward conversations and moments of hilarity that brought back memories of an innocent time.
What struck me most though, is when a couple of those friends still assumed that I was in the same job I was almost 14 years ago! To me it was shocking, laughable almost, to think of, let alone comprehend.
I was so taken aback I didn’t know whether to take the question seriously or laugh it off.
Then I began to think, they were in the same jobs all this time, doing the same thing, going to the same places, seeing the same people… so that is the norm for them. It’s only fair for them to expect me to be where they had left me.
But since that job they were referring to, the one I decide to leave and go off to do my own thing. I have do so much. I’ve lived. I’ve traveled. Gone to places around the world. Lived abroad. Made friends. Lost friends. Discovered new places. Met hundreds of strangers from all walks of life. Worked a host of other jobs in a host of other fields.
And in all of that, they were static. Motionless. In the same position.
I couldn’t explain that to them, wouldn’t know where to have begun. To explain what I do, what I’ve been doing. They wouldn’t relate to it. They seem like they are from a foreign planet to me. Not strangers, but foreign.
But then I also though, well, they have things I don’t. They’ve settled down, married, they all have children. Homes to build, mouths to feed, jobs to keep. Is that what I ran away from? Is that what I want now?
Part of me was jealous because I couldn’t relate to what they were talking about most of the time. As they discusses seemingly grown up things, I remained silent and fiddled with my phone.
Am I still a lost and confused teenager trying to figure out my place in the world?
Would I have given up all of what I’ve experienced and seen over the past 14 years for it? My instant gut reaction is no, not ever.
But, as much as I try to fight it, part of me, a little deep corner in me, would have.

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