Saturday 4 January 2014

The divide

Do you remember your best friend from elementary school? You made friendship bracelets for each other, shared all your secrets, and swore you would be BFFs forever.  

Then, a few years later, you had your first boyfriend. It was exciting, scary, and very confusing. You needed other girls with "experience" to talk to, to figure out this unknown and bewildering new world. 
Your best friend didn't have a boyfriend yet, and all of a sudden you didn't have so much to talk about any more. She couldn't help you with any of your questions, she didn't know anything about boys!
All the things you used to love to do together seemed now boring. 

You started hanging out with other girls who had boyfriends. You could agonize for hours why he wouldn't call. What that text meant. Did he tell his buddies what you are up to in his bedroom? Should you wait before you sleep with him? 
You had so many things to talk about. So much in common. 
Your old best friend faded away. 

She moved on as well, befriending girls who had other hobbies and interests besides boys. 

And this was just the beginning. 

Once we hit puberty and then adulthood, this story never seems to end.
We all move at a different pace when it comes to growing up. Some get married fairly young; that changes the relationship between the young wife and her single girlfriends. There are responsibilities and new duties for a wife that her girlfriends don't have. If you are the only one, you can become a bit of an outsider.

If it's the opposite, all of them getting married and you are the only single one, you are also the odd one out.
Timing is everything.

When children come into the picture, the change is even more drastic. Mothers crave the companionship of other mothers; their childless friends simply can't understand what motherhood is like. There is a bond formed between moms that is strong. And their childless friends aren't part of it.
The divide begins to happen once again.

Didn't we all at one point scoff at people who fit neatly into pigeonholes? Who wanted a label for everything? Didn't we swear that would never happen to us? We are free spirits! We like to be with people that are different! We are different!

Yet, the allure and ease of surrounding ourselves with people with a similar story and circumstances seems irresistible.

And that's sad. How can we widen our horizon? Learn something new and fresh?

Like so many things in life, the pursuit of the golden middle seems worthwhile. Hang out with your work friends who share the same job experience; but also talk to the person who does something completely different. Ask them questions, be interested.
Don't just stay in your age group. There is so much we can learn from elderly people; after all, they have so much more life experience! The same goes with kids. Children have a surprising insight and see the world in a simple yet compelling way. We can all benefit from seeing things from a child's perspective.

Parents, don't stop being people. You can still be your own person and also a parent. One doesn't exclude the other.
Non-parents, be understanding about the changes your parents-friends go through. Be there for them, and try to be interested in their new life.

Does the divide really have to happen? Maybe we can find a way around it, or at least build a good, solid bridge that brings both sides together.

This is my dream.

Hugs, Miriam

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  1. I love this. How true it is too! I was the first to date, lost my gf's. Then dumped my long term bf and lost all those friends. Then I met my husband at 19. His friends became our friends. We kept our daughter from their partying ways but we all remained good friends. Now after all these years, they are still strangers to our daughter. That makes me s little sad. They are all married with small kids so now we are once again making friends and reconnecting with old ones. It's funny how life puts you through these cycles.

  2. I think I don't hang out with my friends with kids as much because I get so tired of hearing "well, you don't have kids." No, I don't. But I'm a human on planet earth and it's not like your child is some magic alien I haven't encountered before.
    Love this post Miriam!

  3. I think I don't hang out with my friends with kids as much because I get so tired of hearing "well, you don't have kids." No, I don't. But I'm a human on planet earth and it's not like your child is some magic alien I haven't encountered before.
    Love this post Miriam!

  4. It's really interesting how we tend to gravitate towards others who can relate to our experiences, with what we're going through, and that life comes in waves. But you raise a great point, that we don't need to limit ourselves to only that. I'm all for meeting people from different walks of life with different experiences because in the end, we're all human and can learn from each other. Beautiful thoughts!

  5. this is such a real life thing.
    after high school, we all went our separate ways.
    not even 3 years later, I met back up with a best friend from high school and it was so awkward!!
    I could not believe how much we did not have in common and how static the conversation between us was.
    it's really sad and doesn't have to // shouldn't be that way, huh.
    I'm with you!
    Here's to hoping for a change.
    I'm LOVING gaining all the amazing information from the older, more "seasoned" nurses I've just started working with.

  6. So, so, so true! I grew up in the south. All my best friends were engaged before we walked to the stage to get our college degrees…so many weddings that summer. And the divide began. But I have just accepted it…it's natural. I have noticed others are having a hard time though. You're right though…we all need to meet halfway.

  7. That is one reason I love blogging as it opens up so many new things that I would never know about before!


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