Have you ever had the feeling, where you’re sitting with, texting, or chatting to someone on the phone who you’ve known forever and yet to look back at your chat, you could have just met each other in the pub toilet?
In front of you, to the side of you, or through your screen sits someone who has known you better than anyone, laughed with you, got pissed with you, mopped up your tears.
But out of nowhere, they’ve started to feel really far away.
It’s happening a lot recently. Maybe I need to change my brand of deodorant. Maybe my harsh South London accent has become more grating.
Maybe I’m witnessing ‘the gap’. The late twenties gap.
The gap that presides between you, the person who’s begun to favour spin over sambucas. The person that’s starting favouring a growth in house deposit over a growth in post-session anxiety. The person that is very much just a Friday night girl now, rather than a Monday-Sunday night kind of girl. Between that you and the you that you used to be and a group of your mates still are.
The party animals. The caners. The up all nighters.
The gap’s there. Because you remember the fun that bar dancing on Thursday’s brought. But it aint you anymore. But it’s very them and all of a sudden your conversation feels stale.
Every time you seem to see them they’re hanging or on one and you’re not boring but the rascal version of you grew up at a different rate. You’ve not got elaborate night out stories to share anymore, stories that started with a swift one on the way home and ended up meeting the man you were to date for the next 6 months in an Uber Pool.
To them you got boring. But to you, the session’s are what’s boring now.
And there it sits. between you and some of your favourites.
There’s also the gap that presides between you, the one that’s independent and taking things as they come in a happy but not full on relationship. The one that still absolutely devours a night to herself. The one that can babysit her nephew for four hours before heading home for a cold glass of wine and an affirmation that this, right now, isn’t for you. The one that still wants the lovely holidays, and a home filled with Aesop soap and things from The White Company, not a living room full of plastic things that beep and an undercurrent of baby sick or pre-wedding anxieties filling the air. Between that you and the version of you that you’re not quite ready for yet but so many of your mates are.
The gap’s there because sometimes they can’t understand why you’re not fully engaged with your ovulation cycle yet, or putting pressure on your boyfriend to spend an Loaf sofa amount of money on a ring, or joining the queue of weddings that is forming around us all.
You’re happy for them, so happy. But it’s not you, and you’re not them right now and once again it appears.
The bastard gap.
The customary ‘how’s the plans going?’ or ‘what’s new with you?’ chat begins as quickly as you find yourself scratching round for things to talk about.
Laura & I had a chat this week that within one ten minute window ran several conversations in tandem.
From baby chat to ‘shall we have a night out on Friday chat’ and all bundled into one little window on my phone I realised that with the gap comes the reduction in mates that everyone always tells you about.
‘You won’t have that many mates when you’re 30’, they said.
And they were right.
Because with some, ‘the gap’ widens, remains and means you drift apart. Your world’s become too different and you never catch up at the same rate.
But for others, like Laura and others in my crew, ‘the gap’ is always bridged with stories of stressful meetings, shitting babies and a need for (one) nice Pinot.