Growing Pains

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I stumbled upon an interesting quote the other day: friendship isn’t about being the same, it’s about being on the same page. But what if you feel like you’re not even in the same book anymore, let alone on the same page! Okay, let me explain.

When you’re a bright-eyed, carefree student, life is nothing but fun and games. Everyone’s pretty much on the same schedule: avoiding lectures, pencilling in afternoon naps and prepping for wild Tuesday nights out on the town! But fast forward a few years and the picture isn’t quite the same.

At this stage you’ve all passed the same ‘post-graduation crossroads’ where you’re faced with a billion-and-one signs pointing in every which way. And more often than not, everybody’s opted to choose a different path to mosey on down. Some are now focusing on career aspirations, while others are occupied with thoughts of marriage and kids. Some are hell-bent on travelling the world, while others are keen to get their foot on the property ladder. Some are scratching their heads and figuring out their next move, or choosing to further their education, while others are much more driven by the urge to socialize in the big city. None of these paths are right/wrong, but they’re all very different.

Subsequently, it starts to become clear that your daily worries may no longer match those of your friends’ quite so much as they once used to. He’s anxious about whether he’ll be able to afford his next mortgage payment, she’s losing sleep over revision, and I’m sitting here feeling empty inside because I’ve come to the end of my Netflix series! It’s a strange time. You may not all get equally as pumped about getting wasted and staying out till 5am anymore either, some of us can’t wait to get into our beds at 8pm! And while some of us viewed your student years as the peak time for fun, others are adamant not to slow down any time soon.

When it comes to me personally, I don’t think that I’ll ever feel ‘old’ per say; my inner child is far too diabolical to ever allow that to happen! (#loonytoonforlyf). I have a few friends who are happily married, others who own their own flat/house, and some who are securing promotion after promotion at work. And as proud and happy as I am for each and every one of them, truth be told, every now and then when I think about all of their impressive accomplishments it can leave me feeling slightly overwhelmed and dejected, like I’m the poor sap of the group who’s trailing behind in life!

*Cue older sister to give me a much deserved slap- and then lo and behold I snap back to reality.*

Because the rational me knows well and good that I’m not at the stage where I’m even remotely ready for a lot of the things that they’re doing. I mean come on, me, be somebody’s wife right now…ha! But I just can’t help myself sometimes, nobody wants to feel like they’re being left behind I guess. Plus it probably doesn’t help that I’m one of those nut-jobs who was born with an innate need to win at everything, whether we’re talking about board games or in this case…life (eek!).

Okay time for some wise words. A very smart lady told me that it’s all about maintaining a balance and learning from one another rather than comparing; looking at your collective differences as strengths rather than weaknesses. Because hey, today you may not be thinking about mortgages, but tomorrow when it’s suddenly number one on your priority list, you know that you can go interrogate your friend who’s already been there and done that. And the same goes for all that other stuff! Having a group of friends who are all at different stages of their lives can be an awesome thing, if you allow it to be.

I think that the key is also to remember that life is a marathon not a sprint, we’ll all get there in the end, but in our own time. And like Lilo (aka Lilo and Stitch, Lilo) said, ‘Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind.’ 🙂

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