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I subconsciously blamed my boyfriend for taking me away from them, and I was unfair to him sometimes as a result.
I was too inexperienced to know how to handle the bigness of my feelings for both him and my friends. I remember going to a hilariously hyped-up dance called the Gold & Silver Ball junior year and dancing with my boyfriend on one side of the room while I watched my friends dance in a circle on the other side.
As I write this now, I’m still navigating the role of “the friend with the boyfriend.” It’s a lot easier than it used to be for a whole bunch of reasons: being out of high school (which incidentally makes almost everything in life easier), getting better at integrating my boyfriend into my friend group and vice versa, having an independent life and a job I love that takes up a large chunk of my time and energy, being older and more cognizant of the reality that not every little thing matters so much and everyone is usually just thinking about themselves and not paying attention to what I’m doing (in other words: I’m not that important! ), being more secure about what I want and what makes me happy, developing an understanding with my boyfriend in which we actually encourage each other to spend time with our friends separately and — most crucially — just generally caring less about what other people think.
I’m a people-pleaser to the core, so I still get anxious if I feel like I’m letting a friend down for choosing to spend time with my boyfriend, or the other way around.
So the first factor that influences how hard you work is the culture related to your geography (both country and city).
I know my former German colleagues work hard -- and likely harder than former colleagues in other European cities. At Mc Kinsey, we went to the client four days out of every week - virtually no exceptions.
The next factor is the industry you choose to work in or end up working in. At other firms, they often go to the client for meetings, to conduct interviews, gather data, etc... Travel is hard on the lifestyle because you are just not at home.
This is a decision that not enough people consider carefully early in their career. so regardless, you're going to see the client a fair amount. In my first year at Mc Kinsey, I lived in Manhattan in the Upper West Side, right across from Lincoln Center.
Female friendship is magnificently intense, especially in high school, which is part of what makes it difficult at times.The first two were relatively easy — the latter, a bit trickier.I was the only one of my close friends with a relationship that lasted almost all four years of high school (at a wonderfully microcosmic petri dish of a boarding school, no less), so I truly was The Friend With The Boyfriend, a status rendered even more isolating by virtue of the fact that what I had was supposedly something everyone wanted.In my head, any time spent with my boyfriend equaled time away from my female friends.I worried that, as their essentialness to each other became more solidified without me, my role in the friend group would be eclipsed, edged out by the expansion of an intimacy too big to accommodate a less-devoted member.