I had a close group of friends from high school, one of whom was my best friend from the fifth grade through our early 20s. All outstanding guys who were far above average in every way.
I was the eccentric personality of the group, totally absorbed in one thing - physical training - and took nothing else in life seriously. My contributions to the group were to make colorful remarks, entertain people with juvenile antics, and be good at sports.
I guess they considered me intelligent, but I had utterly no common sense whatsoever back then and cringe at some of the stuff I used to be popular for. The act worked extremely well when we were younger, when they were also, young, dumb and financially dependent on their parents, but by 23-24, the adolescent personality wasn’t cute anymore, and I didn’t get it.
They grew up and became adults, and I lapsed into a protracted ‘kidulthood’ and stayed in my teenage mentality until I was 25. We never had a falling out or anything, but I figure they just lost interest in me and left me behind. I don’t blame them. My best friend became particularly unimpressed with my crap and got openly pissed off at me on several occasions. He was the only one who ever admonished me for anything or tried to get me to act like a fucking adult.
Things got really bad in 2006 when I developed a devastating health problem that legitimately derailed my life at the very moment when I was finally starting to grow up, when I had been working and finally gotten out of my parents’ house.
People didn’t understand what was happening, and in light of my history up to that point, it would have looked to them like chronic stagnation rather than the true adversity that it was. I became massively depressed and demoralized and withdrew from my social life completely, and over the next two years my relationships with them decayed into nothing.
I attended my best friend’s wedding and the wedding of another one of our friends two years ago. I had been excited to see them and hang out, but when I got there, I realized that I wasn’t a really member of their circle anymore. All the guys in our old crew from back home were groomsmen except me. I wasn’t even invited to the bachelor festivities. I was just another old friend from back home.
They were all cool to me and we talked and caught up, but the guy who had been my best friend didn’t seem very interested in seeing or talking to me beyond what was required for basic cordiality, so I didn’t push the issue and just resigned to stay on the sidelines and let him enjoy his day. I’m glad I had the sense to do that, but it hurt. That was 19 months ago and I haven’t seen or talked to any of them since then.
Anyway, I recently found my friend’s facebook page, not having even known that he had one. He has everyone we ever knew going all the way back to elementary school added as friend except me. I don’t know for sure, but it may have been an intentional omission.
That would hurt worse than the wedding shit. I’m not going to worry about it and become a facebook douchebag who uses social networking sites to become distantly obsessed with people and scrutinize the trajectory of their lives, but if that’s a clue to where I stand with him, I figure I ought to at least recognize it as such and accept it. Or maybe I’m worrying about nothing.
Anyway, we’re both 26 now and I’ve had a total change of mentality since the old days. Long story short, I faced major consequences as a result of my previous lifestlye and ended up learning my lesson in the hardest possibly way - far worse than I even deserved.
In the wake of what happened, I did very much learn from my mistakes, eventually achieved perfect clarity, and finally grew the fuck up in a profound way. As a result of my previous dramatic failure, I’ve matured to the degree that I’m probably wiser than any of my old friends are now, and I take a lot of pride in my character now.
It’s been about four years since I was close to my friends, and our lives have taken much different paths since then. They’re college grads, married, have careers in a major metropolitan area, own houses and nice cars, go vacationing in Europe every summer, etc.
I don’t even think about marriage (wich I make no apologies for), am a college dropout, grind at a pink collar job in our small hometown for $17 an hour, and drive the same 95 Camry I got when I was 16. I’ve gotten my mind right, but I’m paying the price for having been a raging idiot (in my estimation) from 18-24 and don’t have much to show for myself compared to them.
The health thing is still and problem. It hasn’t ruined my life, but it holds me back and creates the appearance that I have a more complacent and passive personality than I actually do, since I would be pursuing a much different course of action if I was had unihibited freedom of action. That is a real source of frustration since most people aren’t aware of the problem and don’t understand, and I hate explaining it or discussing it with anyone.
So my old friends and I don’t really don’t have anything in common anymore in terms of where we’re at in our lives and I doubt we will ever be close again. But I respect them and miss them a lot. They’re doing things I admire, accomplishing things, and I want to be someone who is worthy of being friends with people like them.
It would be awesome to hang out with them again at least one more time before the world ends. I especially want to talk to the guy who used to be my best friend and make things cool with him, if I can. It’s not like there’s a hatchet to bury, but it might be an akward encounter.
It would be cool to at least be able to add him as a friend on Facebook - a seemingly modest goal, but a potentially risky one, since I don’t want to come to him with a potential annoyance over a fucking facebook add. I don’t know what his current opinion of me is, or that he even has one - frankly, he might not even think about me at all anymore.
Any advice on what I should do, or whether I should contact him at all? I figure I could just write him an email, not too long or heavy, just saying hi, tell him I’m working hard and ask what’s going on his life. I don’t drink alcohol anymore,
but if he would be willing to get together for a beer the next time he’s in town to visit his parents, I would make an exception for him, althuogh I wouldn’t want to create any akwardness by making him feel compelled to acquiesce to an invitation he’s not really interested in. I just don’t know whether he would want to.
Sorry for the long post and self-disclosure. Any advice would be appreciated though.