Where your dreams go to die is 23

So I ran into an old friend last weekend.

We’d met when we were fifteen, in high school. Even though we didn’t have a single class together, we managed to spend a lot of time with each other. It was—still is—one of those friendships where you feel like you have everything in common even if you don’t, really. Just us, two complete and utter weirdos. It’s one of those friendships where, even though we hardly talk anymore and I hadn’t seen him in a year or two, he’s still always on my mind because I know he played a large role in defining who I am—my values and my ambitions.

Back in high school, we would talk a lot about our dreams. I knew I wanted to write, but I had no concrete vision of who I would become. My dreams were always fluctuating, meandering. But he knew. He talked endlessly about moving to San Francisco, becoming an artist, and falling in love with the perfect man. (Where I was severely lacking in romanticism, he had all of it.) I remember being so proud of him when he did all those things.

Have I done anything? I wish I’d had a checklist like that.

We’re all grown up now. He just graduated from art school. His hair is almost longer than mine. He has a serious boyfriend—the only person I know who actually has a soulmate. I am sure of this because we always had the same ideas about what love should be, so if he says he has it, I believe him. Only now I’ve gone from not being sure about love to being sure that it doesn’t really exist. With them as the exception.

We had a few minutes to catch up. I told him what I do for work (did). You’re gonna love this, I told him. I wrote bios for corporate executives.

He said, I edit photos for a website.

We immediately burst out laughing at ourselves. Look at us! Sell-outs! Where have our dreams gone?

It felt good to laugh about it with someone who understands, to know that part of me is still the same person I used to be. To know that I’m not alone.

4 thoughts on “Where your dreams go to die is 23

  1. I think I resonated with the first part too well. One of my best friends is a year younger than me and we never had any classes together. The thing that’s different from your situation is that we barely hung out, we’re just so similar fundamentally (but so different in terms of interests). I haven’t seen him in months and I don’t text him regularly. Regardless, I know that I can still tell him anything. Are these by-chance friendships stronger than typical ones? I find it so intriguing how I can trust someone so much who I barely get to see. It’s like when we met, we were already old friends. Is that how it is with your friend?

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    1. That’s precisely how it is! It’s like, I remember this really deep conversation we were having in his bedroom a few years ago. Now it’s almost like we can see each other, years later, and still pick up that same conversation right where we left off. It feels like these types of friendships are stronger because they’re not based on things like having the same hobbies or being able to do a bunch of activities together, because once life gets busy and you can’t do those things with each other anymore, the friendship kind of fades. No, we’re held together by something stronger than that. I’m so glad to hear you have a similar kind of friendship, and I wish the same for everyone else, because they’re so wonderful and fulfilling.

      Liked by 1 person

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