One of my regular blog reads is Satisfying Retirement from Bob Lowry. Bob’s blog is much more popular than mine and as a result of him mentioning RJsCorner in his blog list, I get quite a few referrals from it. Some of his readers who visit RJsCorner might be interested in how very different people can become friends.
Over the years we have become pretty good blog buddies. At this point in our lives we share many of the same beliefs and feelings, but from his post of yesterday entitled If Life Had a Do-Over Option, Would I ? and previous discussions we had very different paths to get to where we are. I didn’t want to hog the comments section on his post, so decided to write a post here comparing his earlier life to mine in order to show how opposite they were.
Bob: My life has been rather ordinary in most respects. I was raised in a typical 1950’s-60’s American suburban environment by two parents who loved each other and their three sons… I went to college, got married in my late 20’s, had two daughters,
RJ: I am a couple of years older than Bob but I too was raised in just about the same period. But since my mother was an extreme narcissist, she abandoned her family for greener pastures when I was about ten years old. Dad just wasn’t much of a communicator so I had very little guidance in my formative years. I didn’t get married until the age of forty and have no children.
Bob: I wasted my time at college…College, for me, was not a time when I allowed myself to be intellectually challenged. I took the courses I needed to but was never fired up by most of them… I was the president of my fraternity…
RJ: I was just a skinny naive farm boy then but college years were some of the most enlightening years of my life. Since there was simply no family money available to fund my college years I ended up working 40+ hours per week for a five-year pay-as-you-go college trip. Being I worked so hard to get there I was anxious to learn as much as possible. I had little time, inclination, or funds to even consider a fraternity let alone being its president.
Bob: ..built a successful career in an industry I had fallen in love with at age 12… At the peak of my consultancy, I was serving over 30 radio stations single-handedly and had worked for over 200 other stations at one time.
RJ: I re-invented myself several times during my thirty-year career. It took twenty years to finally discover where I should have been in the first place. Since I had undiscovered Asperger’s traits even during these years, one-on-one associations were at best very difficult.
There are several other basic differences between Bob and me as far as our pre-retirement years are concerned but I think you get the point, our lives were just about the exact opposite. So, how could two people with very different life experiences end up at pretty much the same point years later, let alone friends? I think our common beliefs of empathy and celebrating diversity has something to do with it.