May 16, 2012 § Leave a comment
A conversation with my friend nearly brought me to tears, out of pity. Here we are, two 27 year old young women, burgeoning with passion for career and life, or so I thought. It turned out, this is a personal sentiment I could and would never share with her.
We grew up -sort of – together, with different sets of parents but within more or less the same extended family. We’d seen each other naked running around in the house as toddlers, we played dangerous games involving body twisting and free-falling like we’d live forever, we literally walked across rooftops that could’ve collapsed any time. We’d do nothing and everything and that didn’t make any difference. We marched on with our toddlerhood, deviating further from each other as we went along. From infancy to adolescence, we’d talk about our friends, our parents, our miserable existance and failures as teenagers.
We started the conversation light, we hadn’t seen each other for a long time. We asked each other how we’re doing. She works in a fancy office, most of the time only when she feels like it, and seems to be getting by. It’s a job not easily attainable for most people with her age and qualifications, but she had her way in. The way I see it, she feels she’s entitled to this job, money, easy breezy life. Even with this seemingly fancy job, she comes and goes to work whenever she likes it.
“How are you doing?”
“When are you leaving for the Netherlands?”
The usual questions for me.
Then one statement shocked me. She said, “Look at us, still like the old times, nothing has changed. We’re still this way.”
What the hell does that supposed to mean? Still this way? I had one of the roughest moments of my career 2 years ago, had struglled through one crazy year full of pressure and intimidation towards me, and eventually overcoming that and starting to live my dream career this year, with the hope of making it, or starting to make it by the time I’m 27. I did all that. Everything for me, the abyss, the drowning, the suffocating, has led up and culminated in what for me is “living the dream”. I appreciate the good with the bad, the happy with the sad, and realized that it’s built me. Even with those happening, for me this is the beginning of the beginning. I’d jumpstarted my career, on my path upward, starting the biggest international project of my life yet in a completely different continent.
And to her, we’re “still this way”. I have come a long, long way, and for my childhood friend to call “our lives”, collectively, still the way that it was as a toddler is one hell of an irony, considering that she saw me as if my life were just like hers. I’ve worked hard, blood sweat tears to it all, and she barely works, and she thinks we’re the same.
That point of conversation put our relationship now from distant to perhaps ignorant. For me here lies all the difference the 27 years has made. I grow up, she doesn’t.
RNT. 16 May 2012.