When paths diverge

28 Sep

There are times in life where you realize that you are on a different path than all of your friends.

There you are. Alone. And it’s your choices that have gotten you there.

I realized this about myself a few weeks ago. I’ll soon be the first of most of my friends to crap out a baby. Many of the friends in my circle don’t ever intend to have kiddos. But hey, this is no sob story, I stand by my decision to start a family.

The thing is, while it seems to happen at one moment when you’ve made a huge decision for yourself, you and your friends, and all the people around you are all actually on different paths. All the time.

Our decisions that forever seem to change life’s trajectory are the things we do every day. It’s just that the big things are noticeable.

Perhaps you’ve decided to focus on your career. And all the energy you put into it highlights your insecurities and what you perceive as your weaknesses. You don’t feel like your career measures up to your peers. You’re worried. You seem to be on a different path.

Or you’re the only one of your friends about to start a family. Suddenly, the phone stops ringing from your single friends. You can’t go out and drink anymore, so you’re not much fun at a bar. Bedtime is earlier for a knocked up broad, so the 10:30pm meeting time just isn’t feasible. You miss one outing; you’re not invited to the rest. Your path makes you feel like a leper. A pregnant leper. Gross.

In the end our paths are our own. We spend so much time in our young lives trying to pin down an identity and as we get older it’s revealed that our choices craft that identity. Our paths are who we are. And in the end, that’s what make us valuable to our friends, family and community. What good would it be if we were all on the same path and had no different perspectives or experiences to share? Not much, if you ask me.

The difficult part seems to be embracing the isolation that comes with bulldozing your own path. So my question to you Scoundrels: if we’re all on our own paths, and that’s a good thing, why does it feel so damned lonely sometimes? And how do you deal with that?

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5 Responses to “When paths diverge”

  1. theVar September 28, 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    “The best discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart. ” –A quote from a friend on FB last night.

    I’ve realized that this statement epitomizes all of my strongest relationships. Hell, this is how I see my relationship with you, Sport. I’m the career-driven, freakazoid with insecurities mounting by the minute; however, that’s just my path. But you. Your are family. <3 ya, babes. I'm not going anywhere!

  2. Lady Crush September 28, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    You are always invited anywhere I go. Except the ladies’ room. Ok, sometimes the ladies’ room, too.

    I’m excited to see where your path takes you!

  3. enyabiznass September 28, 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    Friendships have a way of circling around. I learned this a long time ago with all of the moving I used to do. If you stay in touch, or at least know how to get back in touch with someone, then no matter what choices are made or directions your lives take, you have an opportunity to find each other again.

    Some people you will always be able to talk to no matter what happens. With others you may not reconnect for years. But if you want it to happen, it will. Let people follow their wheels (I think I got that from a Native America, urban fantasy book), and you and they will circle back around so that you can meet them again. And when that opportunity is there, you have to be the one to take it. Don’t wait to see what the other person does. Let them know that you’re happy to see/talk to/stumble acress them. It has a way of working out.

    • dulcedementia September 28, 2010 at 1:05 pm #

      Ditto what Enya said. And fucking beautiful post, love.

  4. Mandy September 28, 2010 at 10:20 pm #

    Great post!

    I think the moments of feeling alone come and go throughout our lives. I think they force us to own our choices without anyone to hold our hands which in turn forces personal growth and makes us stronger people. And while there’s a temporary feeling of floating out there all alone in the world the path always leads you back around to the connections that are important to where your life is now and where it’s going. Maybe that means the same people you’ve always counted on or maybe it means new ones. Some people and some experiences are truly meant to be temporary. They leave their mark, teach their lesson, and add a layer to the ever evolving “you”. It’s the letting go part we all suck at.

    I have walked the path you’re on right now and felt the feelings you write about. My best advice is to try and extract the positive from this transition and maybe even appreciate a little solo time which will soon become a very valuable commodity in your new life.

    Congratulations!

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