An old friend of mine is coming into town in a few weeks with her two kids in tow. It will be good to see her, but these reunions are not nearly as important to me as they were a decade ago. The thing is, I’ve moved on.
I hear from my friends who are married with children every few years or so over email, and every five years or so some of them pop into town or we find ourselves in the same place. But we are not on the same page. While they were busy with spouses and kids and couple friends and home building, out of necessity I constructed a whole new life and self, one that was paying far more attention to matters outside that realm, matters they have long since dropped. In some ways I got to live like I was in my twenties again, when self-exploration was king, albeit with the added difficulties of grieving alone and locating age-appropriate activities.
They don’t know this about me though and perhaps I have remained “static” in their minds as I haven’t had big visual milestones to show off on Facebook. Much of this life building has been furtive and carried out in the shadow of benign neglect. I felt this difference starkly at my college reunion; I had the sense I’d been traveling down a different track, but one that wasn’t well-lit.
This is interesting, because I’ve felt this too. They have been through obvious changes, and growth. We’ve been through changes, and considerable personal growth too – it’s just that it is never really recognised. And appreciated only by us.
I’ve written about this different path that we travel. (http://nokiddinginnz.blogspot.co.nz/2011/09/feeling-left-behind.html) I like your comment that it is not well lit. I think that’s what I’m trying to do – shine a little light on our path, so it’s easier for others (and for our friends with children) to understand.
Thanks, liked your blog post.