When I reflect on my path, there are often people who arrive at a similar point to me. Path making is so complicated that they normally veer off. I bump into others and have fun memories of the portion of the path we have shared, but it is very unusual to stay in a similar place. Life happens.
I have learnt to hold lightly to the teams that I am a part of, no matter how much I like them. To hold lightly to the friends that live nearby. Unless it is your life partner, where you have made a commitment to make the hard decisions, and do the work, to forge a path together. With others you care about, paths can cross, fade, reconnect, or run alongside.
I am fortunate to have a deep bench of friendships, but everyone is wrestling with their own struggles. I do not see enough of anyone.
Some have taken very traditional career paths. They have built skills and knowledge around a long-term goal of a role they want. They have a clear picture of where they want to be. Others respond to choices life presents, as life presents them... still building, but with less premeditation. Some choose incredibly simple lives, massively reducing what they spend and living more contemplatively. Others have chosen noble professions, but are grappling with financial struggles.
Some people’s paths are harder to identify with, because there is insufficient overlap. 6 degrees of separation is the idea that all people are six or fewer social connections away from each other. A chain of “friends of friends”. The further along that chain, the harder it can be to understand other people’s decisions. This is true even of immediate friends with no chain to obscure.
We make different choices, and our choices frame future choices.