Thoughts on Visiting With Old Friends from my Old Life

I have a new life now. Surprise!

No, I haven't moved off to Egypt or anything, I'm still here.

But every once in a while, I run into someone who makes me think about my old life versus my new life (which isn't all that new, but feels like it sometimes because life just moves so fast) and I feel conflicted.

When I meet up with old friends, specifically old co-workers, it's refreshing and I'm excited to keep my old friendships alive and kicking in real life, instead of by respirator via Facebook. I feel like an adult again with my adult friends, out for grown-up things like sushi and martinis because we have babysitters and this is now a luxury as opposed to what it used to be called, which would have been, "Friday."

It's been fun to grow out of happy hours and partying pretty much all at the same time and to watch my old friends and co-workers get married and start families. Because when we once talked about things like office gossip and who's hooking up with who, we now talk about our toddlers and their poop for an hour without batting an eye. For a while, during dinner, we have so much in common. And then for a little while, we don't.

The thing is, I always leave with mixed feelings when I leave my old co-workers. Because they are still working. Still working in the place where I used to work, with a lot of the people I used to work with. And some of them started families like I did, but they stayed. Whereas, I started a family and I left.

And there is this whole other world going on that I used to be a part of but now I am not.

While they're now talking about toddler poo and the massive toy takeover in the living room, they're also still talking about the office and being a part of that and it seems like they have it all.

I miss so much about working.

The chit chat, the friends, someone calling me on the phone needing something from me, answering a phone and feeling important because I have a phone extension and my very own desk and papers and pens, the chaos and the competition, the amazing feeling of accomplishment at the end of a good day, the writing and the actual making of money from writing, the wearing of office-ish clothing, contributing ideas, being in meetings, working out in the field, interpersonal communications, oh the list goes on and on and when I look across the table at my old co-worker, that is all I see written on their face. One big giant reminder of all I've left behind.

It should be fun to go out, but it's really really hard.

Especially while I sit there stammering away while trying to answer that age-old question about what it is that I do all day and they're looking at me blankly and there are crickets in the room.

It's the hardest question in the world to answer because honestly, I still haven't figured it out! And I always find myself explaining what I do and trying to make it sound so much more important-sounding than it is. I mean, it IS important, because it's important to me. And I know that. But meantime, in most cases I am sure the question-asker (because I get that question a lot!) is imagining something to do with luxuriousness and Bon Bons. In my heart and in my head, my life all seems very busy and important, but when it comes out of my mouth, it just sounds so, I don't know, little, and I always just want to stop talking, abort mission and wrap it up quickly with my classic, "Ya know, I have no idea. All I know is that I'm busy all day and I never feel like I'm finished with what I'm doing."

I would never, ever change a thing about the path I took, because it was never an option that I would take that path. I miss the work and the office but I'm not resentful in any way because I just know that no matter how much I miss it, it's not enough for me to return (unless of course I have to, and in that case I'll do anything to make sure we're ok.)

It seems like I have this melancholiness about working versus not working on a quarterly basis and this is my one time for this quarter.

But I'll forget about it when I go about my day today.

Because instead of putting on my work clothes (of which I have none), I'm going to put on my bathing suit for an hour and I will swim 1500 meters during my little window of the kids being in pre-school, and then I will pick up decorations and stuff for goodie bags for my almost-4 year old's birthday party. Then I am going to pick the kids up from school, blow bubbles with them outside, and then eat Bon Bons clean the crap out of the house while they nap. And then I will make dinner and go to bed and wake up and do something either exactly the same or entirely different the next day.

Yup. That's pretty much the gist of it.

And at the end of the day, I'm pretty ok with it.

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