As much as I valued Kim’s words, though, I wasn’t necessarily braced to hear them, and I didn’t feel compelled to follow her warning, no matter how sound. Kim’s life was Kim’s life, and mine was mine. I could listen but I could also pull back. This was not a sense I’d had with friends when I was younger, when I thought my girlfriends and I were joined at the hip and were set to go through life together step by step. That hadn’t happened for baby boomers. We got married and divorced at different times, had kids at different times or not at all, stepped into and out of career fervor at different times, and moved around a lot. These differences in life rhythms were confusing and sometimes made me anxious. One advantage was that I didn’t expect even my closest friends, like Kim, to have the last word on my– inevitably different– life. The last word was mine.
— Maud Lavin, The Oldest We’ve Ever Been: Seven True Stories of Midlife Transitions, pp. 196-197