Have you ever met up with an old friend and found that all you had in common was your past?

I turn 34 soon. I pretty much don't talk to anyone from high school. Or undergrad. Or the Coast Guard.

Every once in a while I might have a brief phone conversation with all of 5 people from those 3 times in my life. Actually, I haven't talked with anyone from undergrad at all. None of them live where I do; they escaped this place. We all just grew up, went our separate ways, and have little in common anymore.

Most people I was friends with have spouses, kids, and a career. I spent a decade trying to drink myself to death, getting arrested, getting fired from jobs, and ending up in and out of rehabs. I'm sober now, finished an M.A. and am in law school, but it's still like I'm years behind in the "growing up" category. Single. No kids. A lot of the alienation from my friends was as much a result of my drunkenness as their own life progression and familial responsibilities, so I don't fault anyone for not contacting me much.

I think the paths we took were just vastly different, and the resulting mindsets also so different, that we have (just like OP said) nothing in common anymore but our pasts. None of us are the same people we were 10, 15, 20 years ago.

I'm glad I still occasionally speak with a few friends from my past, though. It simultaneously reminds me of the young man with potential that I used to be, and the dried-out has-been I've become. So it's a mixed bag. But being reminded of my fuckups helps keep me focused on what I need to do now, and to learn from my mistakes. I'm happy for all my friends that didn't catastrophically botch growing up like I did, but I don't think I'm too envious. Sometimes I am, though. Being in law school with so many people over a decade younger is much worse for that haha. By the time they're my age, they'll have nearly a decade of legal career under their belts; house and kids. All that shit. I'll be a 35yo rookie.

Anyway, gotta get shaved and dressed. It's another day of class and sober excitement here in the shitty city of my birth.

/r/CasualConversation Thread