Yes, I’m losing all my friends. Why? Well, I didn’t really know. I woke up one day with a college degree hanging on wall, living in an apartment with my name on the lease and wondering why my friends don’t live down the hall anymore. Somehow, gradually and surely, I’ve slipped into the routine that is the rat race of life. In becoming an adult, I occasionally find myself getting excited over new sheets, or, worse, saying things like “I remember when I was in college”. The word “was” in that sentence, I shutter.
Obviously, there are some really great things about growing up. For example, the ability to be independent in your actions and finances. Yes, dad I know I didn’t pay the cell phone bill last month – I’m working on it. However, in getting to this point there was a rough patch. My world was falling apart as I learned who I had to be and what I had to do to take care of myself. I was grouchy in my uncertainty as I had the slow earth shattering epiphany that my college degree didn’t have my career goals written on the back. It often felt pretty lonely in this metamorphosis to adulthood. I also was angry that no one told me how hard this was going to be, which made me feel like I was the only one who felt this way.
Post grad is an introspective time that no one talks about.
This time of personal discovery is often a struggle to find happiness in your new life routine. Finding the balance between obligation and play causes a lot of heartache. Friday nights with friends at the local dive are now recovering from a long week with a glass of wine on the couch, alone, watching Girls on HBO. Monday cram sessions are now when you make your meals for the week or when you try to sneak in a call with your mom. Growing up comes with the loss of little moments, but also the great appreciation of them.
When I was in college I appreciated my time with friends, but not how much time I had. I was in social paradise and I had no idea. One “free” friend was always less than a ten minute walk away. I didn’t worry about finances and personal fulfillment, I worried about fun. Now, meeting with friends is premeditative as we scramble to line up little blocks of time that may coincide three Mondays from now.
My beloved friends are also going through this gradual self awakening, learning about themselves and trying to balance their lives. They are all semi-lost, looking for a destination that does not exist. This search also leads to new adventures. You aren’t tied down, you can make your own choices. Many of your friends have moved away to chase excitement and dreams.
Keeping up with your friends becomes a task, and, as terrible as it is, some fall away through the cracks.
In your new appreciation for time, you find yourself connected to the people that want to stay connected with you.
I haven’t lost any friends, but we have grown apart. However, the friends I stay connected with mean the world to me. They are like finding a lost treasure and being with them is like no time has passed at all. These relationships are also consolidation that I now know how to balance my life, by keeping people whom make me so happy a part of it. They brighten my bad days. I can feel their secret laugh as they look at the meme I tagged them in on Facebook. Though not physically close, they surround me, and I no longer feel so alone.
This post seems a little off the usual. It’s personal, but I wanted to write it for those people out there that felt like no one told them it was going to be hard. It’s hard. There’s a lot of tears and self doubt as both a person and a friend. However, there’s a light at the end (not to be too clique) of making your way to a beautiful life and there are people there to share it with.