Have you ever been at a state of your life where most everyone you grew up with has progressed in life and you seem to be in the same place? I have and that was tonight. Old friends and roommates I haven't seen for years got together at Stir Fresh in Rancho Bernardo to celebrate a birthday. I have always felt a little weird around these guys because they were all good friends before I moved in with them, and they all surfed which was something I never did. I was accepted by these guys and they always treated me well, yet I often felt like the fifth wheel when we were all together. I just didn't have much in common with them.
So now that life has happened and we are five years older, things between us are different. We have all married and each of us has one to two children. I was a little apprehensive of going to the gathering because I was afraid the old feelings of being the fifth wheel would resurface. It didn't and I had a good time. The thing that made all the difference for me is we all have something in common now; we all have families. I even hope to see them in the near future.
There is just one problem... I am still in school and they are done. One friend is currently working on a Masters. Now I only have a year to go which is exciting in of it's self, but it is hard not to feel small and insignificant around these guys. A few years ago we were all in the same boat and were all paddling for the same goal. Now they have moved on to speed boats and yachts and I am still in the row boat.
Feeling small is the story of my life, yet that is my problem to overcome because no one is making me feel small except myself.
I want to emphasize that these guys are the most trustworthy and kind people one could hope to know. I don't want anyone to come away from reading this thinking I had any ill feelings for these guys. I just feel academically small around them.