I’ve gone back and forth for how to curate this post. Truly, know that the words you are reading have been thought over, struck out, rewritten, and reworded multiple times. I don’t know the “right way” to go about this, and I am by no means qualified professionally to guide you in any official capacity. That being said, bear with me?
Back in the day, as a teen, or even three years ago, I might have dealt with you differently. I would have tried to tell as many people as possible what you had done to me, confirmed I was the good guy, the blameless victim, built up an army, and fought back. However, after battling for so long, years even, you come to realize that there can be no winner through this plan. Only losers.
We’re all people, living our own full lives. You can never truly know what goes on in another persons head, or how their mind works. We experience our own highs and lows and these shape us. We learn from our mistakes, and from the mistakes of those around us (be it in person or from stories or even television). We watch people make choices that would be wrong for us, and maybe we think they’re even wrong for them, too. We think to ourselves, that’s a mistake. Or, I wouldn’t have done it that way. But do we get involved? From up close? From a safe distance? Do we tell them that? Do we insert ourselves in their life as a means to, what? Make things better for them? Make things worse, so that we can feel better about our own situations?
I’ve made mistakes before. I own those mistakes, because that girl didn’t know what I know. She will, but she didn’t know back then. I’ve learned to be kind to her, because (deep down) she wasn’t trying to be malicious and she can’t go back in time and change things. She was grasping at straws. Diverting attention away from her and shining a spotlight on someone else so that she could seek comfort in the darkness. With every comment that cut her down, she spat out two more so that she was still taller than you. That girl is me, but I suspect it’s you, too.
The difference? I can only speak to my own actions, my own feelings. I can only tell you what the younger me was thinking and feeling, her aims and goals. We don’t agree much these days, but that is to be expected with maturity. Her and I have different goals. They’re the same, but they have different definitions.
Happiness used to mean weighing a certain number on the scale, having lots of friends, clear skin, a good job title. These days, happiness means sleeping in and waking up next to a partner who appreciates and values me. Happiness to me means chatting with friends, both internet and IRL (in real life), and supportive family. Happiness to me is thinking back to fun times of travel, success, and laughter. I don’t know why you do what you do to me, over and over again, and I don’t need to. Honestly, I don’t care.
That’s not meant to sound aggressive, reader. That’s meant to soothe you. I don’t care about what you did back then, or really even what you’re doing now. It won’t ruin my day. I won’t let it. My army won’t let it. I don’t care about how you look or your education or your social standing or how many Instagram followers you have. It doesn’t matter to me – how you treat me and how you treat those around you is what matters. Ultimately, only you can make that change and choose to be better. I will not be waiting for you.
I’m focusing on my own happiness, and enjoying my time as best I can. It saddens me to think that you feel so hurt that you have to fight back in an empty ring, but I guess… do what you feel like you must do to survive your day. In the meantime, know that I’m OKAY. I have people in my life who will go to bat for me, who will defend me and build me back up. I still have people who will offer to fight for me.
I mentioned before that after battling with someone or something for so long, you come to realize that there can be no winner in the end. Only losers emerge, and there is no victor. And personally, I don’t want to damage my strong, beautiful, faithful army. I don’t want to waste their powers on the likes of someone hiding behind a phone or a keyboard, or behind their own sense of superiority.
I truly hope that you can find a sense of peace and ownership and confidence in your life. I wish only good things for you. I hope that one day you look back and forgive the girl you are now – forgive yourself for the hurtful intentions, forgive yourself for not minding your own business and inserting yourself into a situation that has nothing to do with you. I hope that one day you are able to teach your child to be better. I hope that we can be close one day. I hope to one day welcome you into my army.
In the meantime, I want to be absolutely clear. I remove myself when there is drama. I am not fighting back. I’m too busy living my life and enjoying the people who I chose to have in it. I am taking the high road. This post is an attempt to convey to you that I know what you’ve been doing, and I understand why. I also know that I don’t deserve it, and maybe deep down you know that, too.
To the rest of my readers, those simply along for the ride, how do you respond to those attempting to tear you down? What makes you smile? What are you thankful for today?