I met with another wonderful young woman today who I met many years ago (it's hard to believe I'm old enough to say that- she was in high school when we met and now is in grad school. Yikes. But anyway...). We are a lot alike, I think, and both talk fast so though we don't see each other a lot, we get in a lot of talking when we do.
One thing I asked her today was "isn't it strange when your life begins to diverge from your friends' lives?" and she said "YES!!!" I was happy to know that this strange realization wasn't just something that I noticed...
(Like tonight I notice that I am writing rambling, too-detailed intros before getting to my point.)
I have a group of girlfriends with whom I worked at a group home (for adolescent girls) when we were in our 20's. It was hard work, full of drama and crisis and fun times and touching moments. Some of our group worked at the boy's home across town. Some of us worked there for years, others were more temporary. But our time there brought us together as friends, and we've made it a point to stay in touch and get together every now and again- we always have a blast.
But my life is not like their lives. They have kids, they live in communities and their lives sort of revolve around their families and their kids' schools and activities. I'm so not maternal or aunt-y. I'm not a babysitter and am too busy to go watch their kids' games or concerts or shows. I'm the Churchy one, working in a parish and pursuing a Masters in Churchy Stuff. They are all Christians of one type or another, but I'm the minister. I guess if I were more aunty I'd be more in-touch with their lives, but it is a commonly-held understanding that even if I visit one of them in the hospital after they have kids, they won't pass the baby to me. I just don't really know how to hold 'em. Well, I can hold them, but passing is beyond me.
But my friend and I today were amazed at the realization that what bonds us with our friends isn't our common life-plans, but our memories and our relationships at their very heart.
Anyway, my life is full and fun and I am happy in it, even if I feel a bit out of pattern when I visit with my friends, I still love seeing them, laughing with them, and hearing about their lives, as foreign to me as mine is to them, I expect.