Weekends lose some of their punch in unemployment. Wifey is home, which, of course, is a good thing, even if I have to minimize the
This past weekend actually felt like a weekend. Many of my buddies from high school and before were in New York for an unofficial reunion. I’ve been friends with these guys for over 20 years, longer than I haven’t been. I met one in third grade, when he solved
This was my first time seeing everyone together in a very long time. We’ve spread out across the country and to Europe from suburban Maryland but remained at least loosely in touch via email, holiday visits and the occasional wedding. Most of us are married, and some have young kids. And most everyone is moving ahead in a career. Some are really successful, which isn’t at all surprising. We’re a bright bunch. But I am unemployed – again – and feel like my career is stalled.
Unemployment makes me self-conscious. At 18, I didn’t envision myself scanning job boards and hitting up contacts for work at 37. The picture involved a great job, a
Wifey keenly pointed out that every one of my friends probably has something about themselves that bothers them (never mind the cringe-worthy stories). Most people do; self-awareness is part of what makes us human and the humans we are. My career is mine, and I’m trying to do something about it everyday. It’s just harder to escape, being the only one inside my own head.
The subject of my unemployment didn’t come up much; it’s not terribly funny or interesting, and has precious little to do with high school. Friends inquired and expressed concern. Some offered advice and support. But that was it, which is fine with me. I’m pretty tired of talking about it. A weekend should be a break from the week anyway. And this his one surely was.
We ate too much, drank too much and probably spent too much. We relived glory days, exaggerating them as middle-aged guys do. And I enjoyed every minute. These guys know the current unemployed me, but they know older versions of me much more. I’m better now and worse and exactly the same. My future (likely employed) self will be different still. Who knows exactly how things will shake out? It’s good to have old friends in the world to remind me that the present – like the past – won’t be forever. And they can knock me down when future success goes to my head.