Friday, December 16, 2011

Digging in the past...

The past two years have been quite trying, but though I feel a little shorted on the friend front, I realize that I have some amazing people in my life. I have friends in North Carolina who might as well be family, and I consider them as such. I have a handful of friends here (what a sausage fest!)who accept me despite my flaws and misgivings. And I have someone in my life who loves me - and even though it is overwhelming at times, it feels pretty damn good to have love reciprocated.

Anyhow, I was reading some old emails I had saved. One in particular, caught my attention - I'm not going to say who it is was with - but a phrase in it struck me. "I always thought the best of you, and now that's gone. I am so very disappointed at the person you have become. And I hope for your sake that you will come out of this someday." That phrase stung, for quite some time. It made me question if I had become a monster. But as time has passed, I have had a lot of time to reflect.

I will not apologize for the person I have become. I am the same person I always was. Have I changed? Not the whole of me - I have grown. Which I feel is an immense difference, and a necessity as we age. Though I did receive what seemed like a very sincere apology after I responded to that email, many of the people involved are no longer a part of my life. And though the way it all came to blow was immature, I accept it for what it is. People choose. Lovers over friends, new bonds over old ties.

What I have learned in the past several years is that any relationship where only one person is fighting and putting in most effort IS going to fail, and people will judge when they only hear one side of a story. Relationships are all about respect, interaction, trust, and the ability to bend for those you love. This goes for love, and friendship. Two very precious, emotional, and complex aspects of life. I've also learned that too much of anything is a bad thing. I much prefer my handful of faithfuls to a massive group of individuals that are inseparable. Because they are separable. Always.

Anyhow - the point of this post is that after re-reading that, in retrospect I am quite happy with the person that I am. Gossip is a renegade freight train - aimed to take out everyone in it's path. It can destroy reputations, friendships, self esteem. So if you don't go looking for it and airing people's dirty laundry, you will save yourself a lot of pain and stress. Berating others is futile and hypocritical when you yourself are guilty of the same, or worse. But most importantly, I am in dire need of learning when to use a filter - because sometimes people aren't ready for the truth. Or it comes off as being judgmental when it is meant to be constructive. I am not perfect. What matters is that when you lay your head down at night, you have a clear conscience and are content with how you treat others. My grandmother was the most influential person in my life. There are many aspects of my personality that she would disapprove of - bad habits mostly. But when it comes to the person I have become, I like to think that she would be pretty proud of the woman that I am. Mostly optimistic, firm in my beliefs and values (though they may differ from others), and loyal - sometimes to a fault. But most of all, I am true to myself. I don't try to fit into a mold of what others want me to be.

And with that, I think I have found the closure that I needed. That ultimately I am proud of the person that I am, despite what others think. It's time to let go. Delete the emails, let go of some of the anger, and enjoy the pictures and good memories from friendships that didn't last - so that I can appreciate the ones that have. #personalgrowth