What I do in terms of career/projects/desire are all one and the same. And I'm lucky enough to be paid to do what I love, and I continue to do it. It just so happens that lately, within the past year or so, I've been especially "successful". But much of my friends/acquaintances are not really in a similar position, which makes me feel guilty/weird about sharing what's going on in my life.
I feel apologetic about my so-called "success", which leads me to under-share about myself. Help?
At a young age (I'm in my late 20s) I happen to be in positions that are considered 'successful' and 'prestigious'. I teach at the graduate level at an prestigious academic institution you've heard of, I'm running an experimental project with a great deal of autonomy and responsibility at another renown creative institution, and I'm solely responsible for managing another project that has a budget in the seven figures.
However, I need to stress that concepts of 'success' aren't important to me -- I actively reject an idea of 'success' because I think it's socially formulated, and I think what's more important is to realize what one wants and to go pursue it. So I feel pretty happy that I'm doing things because they are important to who I am.
My closer friends are all creative types who are in different stages of their life. We're past the punk-rock DIY venue stage of things, and some friends are heading off to graduate school, becoming more serious about their pursuits -- but we still bike as our primary mode of transportation, take on freelance projects, build things in our backyard, live in warehouses, go to house parties, friends' music shows, poetry readings, etc.
I spend most of my time working or thinking about my work, which is indistinguishable from 'play'. As a result, when someone asks me how I'm doing, or what's new, I immediately think of the projects I'm working on. This isn't new - much of my friends create work or have their own studios, so it makes sense, and is familiar. But when I talk about some of my projects, I feel like I overwhelm the conversation, or I make it hard for the other person to respond.
This is hard, especially among closer friends, because my projects aren't always hard, of course, and like everyone, I have gripes about my work. I just feel like I'm being overly privileged when I complain about how INSTITUTION doesn't respond quickly to emails or how I'm struggling with the surreal-ness of deciding between a creative decision that costs $40k vs $30k, etc. But it's what I think about day-to-day, and it's part of my life.
So I try to talk about parts of my life that are more easily sharable and empathizable, etc. I hate bragging or boasting, so I end up swinging the other way. This has the side effect of under-sharing with my friends, so I feel like I'm isolated a little bit - of course nobody understands what I'm thinking about, because I don't share it!
I have other contacts/acquaintances who are in similar positions, and who I get along with, but aren't quite my friends-friends. With them, I feel comfortable talking about these things, because I think that "they can handle it", which I recognize as being problematic, because it assumes that my friends 'can't handle it'. But I do have friends who are brilliant and amazing but are struggling to make ends meet, etc. How do I talk about my own quandaries without coming across as privileged or without making my friends feel bad?
I feel apologetic about my so-called "success", which leads me to under-share about myself. What do you do when you have a career/perspective mismatch with people you care about? How much do you share?