I can never do this by the rules. I don't know why. This time, I'm taking two choices and morphing them into one: what I no longer have in common with my single friends, and what I no longer have in common with my married friends, and why I love them anyway.
Do I even have friends?
Ok- we have to start with my story. I got married young. I had my first kid 3 days after I turned 21. My second came along 3 years later, and my third 13 months after that. All my friends were going to college and working while I was popping out babies and being an at home mom.
Now- 19 years later- I am divorced. My kids live with their Dad (this was a decision we all made that was best for the kids- don't judge me!). I am living with Boyfriend and trying to get a career started (being at home for so long isn't conducive to work in the current recession).
My friends are all married with kids pretty much. Little kids. Some are in utero. I picked up some new friends when I went through college and they are about 15 years my junior.
My oldest (she's a month older than I) and most enduring friend
some of the girls from college (Megan is across from me)
Anyhoo- back to the actual topic: My life is very different from either of these ages of friends.
Tricia, oldest and most enduring friend (we've known each other for 25 years) has a husband, a house, a real job, and 5 kids under the age of 10ish. (how old is Nick anyway?) She does mom and wife things. She goes out with the girls for dinner and plays. She's constantly taxiing a kid somewhere. She's also an aunt of a gazillion other kids (she comes from a family with 10 kids). She's very much a family oriented person. And a job oriented person. She's focused and devoted.
Megan is 25ish. She just got married. She has no kids. She has two jobs. She doesn't drink. She cusses like a sailor. Oddly, these two:Tricia and Megan remind me of each other. They are the alpha to my beta personality. The only reason I'd take over anything is because they tell me to.
Single girls I know go out drinking and dancing. They wear stillettos. They might show their boobs at the river. They own pretty cars and work well paying jobs. Their bodies are not stretched out from babies. They look good in a bikini. They flirt with boys.
Gosh- I am none of these. I had a major upheaval when trying to figure out who I was after the divorce. I was no longer mom, wife, caretaker. I couldn't get a teacher job like I hoped. I finished school so I wasn't a student. I was feeling old, fat, like a loser. I wasn't a fabulous mom like Tricia, or a go-getter newlywed like Megan. I wasn't a young pretty flirty thing like other single girls. I wasn't betty crocker, the good wife, or a career woman.
I had a hard time listening to other people's kid stories- my kids and I had a lot of healing to do yet.
I had a hard time listening to young and hopeful kids in love.
I had a hard time hearing about people getting the jobs they wanted.
I had a hard time figuring out where I fit in.
Two years later I am still figuring it out. My friends are still with me- that's one good trait about them both :)
I have figured out that I am me. I don't really want to start over with babies, I don't want to taxi kids everywhere (mine drives), I don't want to go back to volunteering in the classroom. I don't want to go out to bars to party all night every weekend. I don't want to show my boobs. I don't want to pick up boys.
I want a job. A stable one, subbing may or may not be enough, we will see. I want to be thought of as betty crocker and susie homemaker. I like that part of me. I do make a decent at home mom and wife. I want to make art. I want to be loved.
So, though my friends and I are not exactly alike- I have realized we are similar. They want a stable career, a stable relationship, to be loved and appreciated. And those traits and connections we have just add to an already enduring and endearing friendship. I don't wanna be exactly like my friends- that's why I have them. Two of me would be boring.