Growth is such a long and never-ending process, so if we are being honest with ourselves, we will admit that we are never quite done growing. Maybe in stature, but certainly not in knowledge.

There are stages of growth that are sort of universal. From day care to secondary school, you have this group of people with whom you flock around carrying out very similar activities. This is one of the most interesting and enjoyable seasons in one’s growth.

During this season, you start having the first anchors and relationships that you choose for yourself; your friends. At this stage you are all almost at the same level. Going to primary school, probably the same class, with the same kind of schedules, writing the same kind of exams. Reason why the understanding you have of each other’s realities is such a haven.You make the same mistakes together, you lick your wounds together, feel mortified as a group. You counsel each other and hold each other up so you can move on to the next big thing. 

Then you move onto to the first years of your university experience. The freshmen year especially, but the undergraduate programme as a whole. For those lucky enough to stick together at this stage by going to the same university, you soldier on. But even for those who enrolled for their undergraduate programs in different universities, there are a lot of similarities in your joys or struggles. Trying to grasp the new approach when lessons are being thought, trying to meet up with the not so familiar standards when writing a paper and all the issues of the undergraduate years seem easier to share. They are easily understood since you all are in the same season.

But the post graduate level changes a lot of things in the dynamics of friendships, especially when the clique didn’t choose one academic/career path. Some friends may choose to enrol for a postgraduate programme. Others might choose to go have a feel of the job market before returning to academia later, while others may choose the entrepreneurial path. So things get a little spiced up. The easy understanding you used to have of each other’s difficulties changes because, you are not facing the same difficulties anymore.

So communication gets a little more complex. Time allocation as well becomes murky waters for you all to travail. Straining the relationship which for the past decade or more was pivotal to your being.

Then a few years later, time you don’t even notice flying by. After about 3 or 4 years, you might have stayed the course of academic excellence, while the others are looking for jobs, getting impressive salaries or struggling to make ends meet. Sometimes, they could be starting their families, getting married and having babies. Then not only do you start feeling left out, but you equally feel left behind.

This sadness and disdain for not doing supposedly great things with your life despite the fact that all of you are in your mid 20s or early 30s really hampers down your self-esteem (It happens even to the best of us). I fondly call it the existential crisis season. You don’t talk to your friends anymore about how difficult the season seems to be for you, because for some reason, you had a discussion with self and decide they are too busy for you, might be having it worse than you are, all by your lonesome, without even talking to the people actually concerned.

Reason why you end up sinking into a dark place and mechanically adult up, losing the authentic trust you had in yourself and the truth about the type of adult you truly are meant to be.

My advice… STOP THINKING YOU ARE LATE. The main reason you think you are late on the adulting season is because you have seen your friends do seemingly more consequential things than you are. It’s important that you know that you are no longer in the same season. You may be of the same age, but certainly not in the same season. The entrepreneur now in a few years may like to return to school and enrol for courses necessary to spur growth. The person starting a family now, might be feeling left behind as well and wasting potential.

From this wider perspective and looking a little further off your nose, you might realise they need you just as much as you need them. You may not have the strike of genius in dishing out advice for their seasons, but you are such an emotional crutch that no one else could possibly be at that point in time.

Not forgetting the fact that EVERY SEASON YOU ARE IN, IS A PREPARATION FOR THE NEXT SEASON YOU HAVE TO STEP INTO. Therefore, you might want to pickup a thing or two from the seasons your friends are in just to be better equipped for your inevitable future. This will help you redeem time and conveniently dodge some potholes which might have otherwise punctured your tyres in that season.

It is all about being kind at the end of the day. Be kind first to yourself, so it becomes possible for you to be kind to these people you love

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1 year ago