Not long ago I had dinner with a friend I haven’t seen for a while. Our friendship began in our younger years during school days. We stayed in touch after our education in the same establishment finished and we have known each other for over 10 years now. But this meeting headed in the same direction as past ones of recent times. As though we have grown apart, maybe we’re no longer compatible.
I met to try revitalise the friendship, but I realised it was for the sake of past memories. We’re different people now to the giddy teenagers we once were together. Who had a good laugh in lessons and were always in stitches on the way home. It was a very grown up meeting, talking about very grown up things. And I am all for those important conversations, but the whole dinner felt lackluster.
The worst part? I felt stupid. My friend views success as heading high up in a career and earning a lot of money, even if that job can become mind-numbing. Then spending the money on materialistic things and expensive holidays. I don’t see anything wrong with that if it brings true happiness, but I don’t like it if it is used to bring others down and make them feel how I did – unintelligent and inexperienced.
For me, success is about being surrounded in the richness of life – those friends who you can comfortably feel unintelligent and inexperienced with, but in those moments they teach you something rather than make you feel belittled.
For the sake of times gone by, I am reluctant to let the friendship fizzle out. But for the sake of times to come, I don’t want to surround myself with friends who make me feel disheartened.
Have you experienced this situation before? What did you do?