Tuesday, April 10, 2012

You and your friends are on different pages.

"At 25, you will feel drastically more mature than some people you know, embarrassingly less put-together than others, and acutely aware of these imbalances in lifestyle, career, and consciousness between you and the friends you used to feel absolutely in sync with. This can be isolating. Out of nowhere, you can go from feeling buoyantly held aloft on the tumultuous sea of life by friends who totally get you, to feeling… you know, whatever the opposite equivalent of that analogy is. Desert Island or whatever. Don’t fret. Your 20s is supposed to be a time of rapid growth and development in every area of your everything, but we don’t always — in fact, rarely ever — evolve along the same timeline. And so we lose pace with each other.

Maybe in the next few years, you and your former soulmates will end up in the same place again and be BFFs. Or maybe you won’t. Maybe your path will take you to a whole new group of friends who are more suited to this stage of your life, and hopefully your old friends find that, too. Regardless, don’t let the fact that you and your pals have less in common than ever become grounds for resentment, anger, self-doubt or any of that nasty sh-t. It sucks, it’s sad sometimes (social limbo is a lonely land, yo), but the best you can do is stand behind your own choices, stay focused on continuing to become the happiest, healthiest, most successful version of yourself possible, and try to retain a certain sense of social zen — people come in and out of your life, and that’s okay."

While I'm still a year from the quarter-century mark, this Thought Catalog piece about the 6 Things You Learn at 25 had a lot of interesting things to say. Things that resonated with me. Especially these two paragraphs (otherwise known as thing #5 on the list).

As I look around at my friends (the people with whom I've shared relatively similar lives up to this point), I realize that we are all in very, very different places. Some of us are married. Some of us have children! Some of us are buying houses, or cars. Some of us are searching for jobs. 

It's easy to compare myself to my friends who, in one way or another, seem way more "put together" or "grown up" than me. It's hard feeling in "social limbo," as this writer puts it. Everyone is in different stages and it just feels like we're no longer the people we used to be.

And we aren't. But that doesn't mean any of us is doing the wrong thing. It means that we're growing! Maybe in different directions, but we're growing. And that's not wrong or bad. That's great. As long as we're following this advice: "...stand behind your own choices, stay focused on continuing to become the happiest, healthiest, most successful version of yourself possible." 



  1. I've found that those differences in maturity and general commonality become even more pronounced by age 35. In fact my core group of friends with whom I have the most in common now range from 23 to 45 years old, owing to their own very different developmental paths. The key has been in embracing those timeline differences - and it's lead to some truly great friends.

  2. Thanks for reading, Dan! I'm beginning to learn that it's not so much the age but the paths we've chosen that align us to our "core groups." It's been a strange transitional period, but it has brought me to some great people!