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.