Girlfriend Guilt: When You’re The Only One Still On Track
It is the arrogance of childhood that makes us think that we will grow up and be on equal footing with our best friends. We think we will go through the natural transitions of girlhood into womanhood – giving up dolls for make up and nail polish, prom dates, college, marriage and kids –at the same time. Some of us even go so far as designating each other as godmothers to nonexistent babies that are supposed to come after dream weddings. Yet, as we all know, life comes calling and its rare that these dreams are actualized the way we conjured them.
One of the biggest wake up calls of my 20s is seeing how many of my close friends have fallen so far from their initial plans. Dream schools were picked out, majors declared, and fellowships verbally claimed…but that feels like so long ago. Friends who I thought would leave me envious are nowhere near enviable to me. When I look at my own life, I feel almost a bit of guilt. Out of all those whom I started my journey into womanhood with, only a couple of are still running alongside me, gunning for the goals they had set out for themselves.
Yeah, I know we’re all adults. Me and my girls are, to a large degree, responsible for the ways our lives have shaped out so far and how they will continue to do so in the future. This is why the guilt I feel at times is so perplexing to me. Why should I feel guilty for doing what I said I was going to do? I shouldn’t feel as if I need to be an apologists for my achievements, and yet the sensations gnaws at me every time they inquire, “what’s new?” My mother told me I was going to leave many friends behind; that those I started out with, wouldn’t be the ones I would end with — but, that knowledge has not helped alleviate the sadness in the situation.
I, at times, sit and wonder, where the hell did things change so much? When did visions change? When were goals reassessed/forgotten/carelessly dismissed?! I could have sworn that my girls and I started off on the same page, but this may not be so. What pains me the most is no longer having much to talk about with these old friends of mine. The days of our long, winding conversations about nothing and everything are as foreign to me as an Eastern European language. We no longer have anything to talk about due to the differing cultures of our lives. I cannot understand their lamentations of their husbands and/or children, because I don’t have them. And they, cannot understand my lamentations on my burgeoning career and single-girl expeditions, because that are the contents of my life, and my life alone.
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