Moving On

From my early teenage years I had a group of about 8 mates – we done everything together.  In the main it was playing football, or when we we a bit older (and braver) it was going over to the woods and staying up all night to see if there was a bogey man in there – it was also an excuse to get drunk on warm bottles of Bud, Two Dogs, Hooch and Diamond White.

I remember one particular evening, when we were about 14, we were sat on our mates garden wall discussing if we’d all still be friends later in life.  One of us was also trying to volley a football at the others (to make us jump off) so he could sit down on the wall, so obviously the discussion wasn’t anything too in depth.

As the years passed the group started splitting up.  Whether it be because one of them had found ‘the one’ and disappeared for months on end, or because someone had to move away for work etc.  Other things started taking priority but we all stayed friends. 

Nowadays I might go a few months without seeing or hearing from one of them – but when we do it’s like we haven’t been away.  The banter is still there as if we were still sitting on the wall 15/16 years ago (we’re just not volleying footballs into one another’s faces).  Like me, one of my friends still remembers the chat we all had on the garden wall too.

Some things have obviously changed though: each of them are all in long term relationships, one of them is married, seven of them have produced at least one small human and two of them have given up pretending they still have a decent hairline (for the record: I’m fighting a losing battle with my hairline).

Then, for the first time in about 18 months, we were all in the same room together for a christening of one of their babies.  But something wasn’t right, it was odd.  We’re all basically the same age, but everyone had seemingly got older.  Talk revolved around things that aren’t even on my radar: babies, more babies on the way, mortgages, buying property, DIY and Vauxhall Zafira’s (brilliant for kids apparently). 

You know when you see a film about people growing up and you see a quick video montage of everyone from infancy to adulthood?  That’s what I seen as I stood there watching us all take the piss out of each other.

Each of them are happy in their own lives and I’m as pleased as anyone for them, but then I looked at myself and, even though I have no current desire to have kids / buy a house / do DIY / know where things are in Ikea, I wondered why aren’t I like them?  Have I (for want of a better word) outgrown them, or have they outgrown me?

Even though we’ll always be friends and keep in touch, it’s the first time I felt very detached from them all.  Here I am dropping everything and going to the other side of the world…wondering how/why didn’t I end up on the 2 point 4 children path like the others?  I know everyone makes their choices, but it’s strange how it’s all worked out.  Thankfully I didn’t go all Stephen Hawking on everyone, I was more concerned why my glass was nearly empty.


15 thoughts on “Moving On

  1. My sister’s going through kind of the same thing, a lot of her friends are suddenly married and have children on the way, while she’s living the single life at 30. But on the flip side, she’s travelled and has a hell of a lot more options than those who are living the married life (or in some cases, already signing divorce papers).

    It’s easy to think that just because all your mates are shacked up and living life one way, that you are somehow not as lucky because you don’t follow suit. But I always think its the ones who buck the trend who are the lucky ones.

    You’re off to Australia, and if you asked your mates, I bet any one of them would love to be able to go too. But with kiddies and wife in tow? Perhaps not…

  2. Jo
    Re-reading my post, I’ve probably made it sound a bit more sombre than I meant to. A year or two ago I probably would’ve give my right arm to have what they have. Now…not a chance in hell.

    Totally agree that I have a lot more options than any of them…and I’m finally making full use of them! As you say, there’s not a chance any of them would make it to Australia nowadays – the stock reply was “I’d love to, but I can’t”. Although they all said that when I first wanted to go about 10 years ago too!

    Luck mightn’t even come into it…I was born to go to Oz :p !

  3. I really enjoyed reading your post. I think a lot of people have looked at their childhood group of friends and wondered the same thing. With me, three of my friends became drugs users – 2 disappeared from contact. Two of us became teenage parents – I was one of them. I got married and had two more children while she had another child and then lost them both. One of us waited to start a family so he could go to college and now has a brilliant career.

    What I’ve learned is we admire certain things from others, while they return the admiration. I feel sorry for those of us that had lost their way, while I admire the one who was able to solidify his place in the world with his career. While he is thankful for his education and success, he admires the family life that I have which he is lacking.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • thypolarlife
      Thanks for the comment, glad you enjoyed the post. It is odd how the same group of friends, with a similar upbringing, can end up going down totally different paths. Like I said in the post, I do admire what they all have, although I’d bet some of them are looking at me with a bit of envy now too..

  4. I think it happens to everyone though – slowly, slowly, my closest friends are marrying and babying off. Out of the core five, three are married, one is in a long-term relationship and the other has a child (but isn’t married in a long-term relationship).

    All of them have some form of responsibility that I don’t. Saying that, if I did, I wouldn’t be out here, doing what I’m doing.

    Swings ‘n’ roundabouts my friend.

  5. Yup, it happens to everyone. I’m barely out of university and already my friends from four years ago are doing things that make me feel completely detached from them. But then again, you are you. Do what makes you happy.

  6. nuttycow
    Yeh that’s true. I’m sure when I’m full of responsibility I’ll be writing blog posts cursing the responsibility 😀

    Only about a year ago, either I read it or someone else said to me…don’t do what you think you should be doing, but what you want to do and makes you happy. Or something like that anyway. Nail on head.

  7. I remember sitting around a campfire at 22 with about 10 good friends and the topic of everyone putting $500 dollars into a fund, for the last to get married to receive, came up.
    … in hindsight, I should have encouraged the others more.

    The last possible recipient checked out last year.

    I stand alone.

    note: I plan on getting married one day, but I don’t think marriage is all it’s cracked up to be … but neither is singledom. It depends on what’s important … and more important.

  8. We have a group of friends who get together once or twice a year, whenever we do it is as if no time has gone since the last time we got together.

    Slowly people settle down, get married, have kids yet we still manage time to have our odd weekend being the boys again. Works wonders for the soul sometimes.

  9. I’m sure it wasn’t sombre. I’m sure you were probably the life and soul of an animated party. The conversational topics might have been different to where they used to be, but I’m sure there were DIY disasters, Nappy disasters and, erm, other disasters. I’m also sure that even though your common ground might have diminished, you still traded on a lot of ‘the old days’. I’m a little envious. Sometimes being a loner isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

  10. I find once people have children you can pretty much wave them goodbye as friends. Partly because they no longer have any time for anything and partly when they have they become parent bores as little Jessica /Johnny is the only topic of conversation that they have.

    I may have gone all traditional and got married but draw the line at the whole sprog thing, life is far to interesting….

    Glad to see you back on the blogging scene I thought we had lost you for a minute…Are you just trying to get us ready for long trips into the bush???

    • BlackLOG
      Two of my mates still find time to go for a couple of pints now and again (maybe once a month max, for a few hours), the others are long gone – parent bores is definitely correct!

      Had a bit of a self imposed break from all things blog – and apart from a couple of not bloggable things going on – there’s been feck all for me to write about (saving for Australia makes me a dull boy). I doubt gaps between posts will be this long when I’m down under, I’m sure I’ll find something/someone/stuff to write about. No need to go cold turkey just yet!

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