Birthday Month is upon us or as my father calls it High Holy Birthday Month!!! It is a week before my 32nd birthday and I have realized some things about myself, life and growing up. In the recent past a few people who have known me for almost my whole life and who I care very much for have become so very judgmental and downright hurtful. At first I tried to brush off such offenses as me being too sensitive. Then I thought maybe these people are right and I just don’t want to hear it. Eventually I realized that really isn’t the case. While I was being supportive through their many mistakes, misdeeds and mess ups as a good friend always should be, they have turned their back on what I have gone or been going through. I as a good friend was honest in certain situations about my feelings of what they were doing but only as an outsider looking in. After saying my part, I have learned that you can always tell someone what you think but ultimately they have to do things their way because pushing your opinions only pushes people away. Your one and only job as a friend after being open and honest is to be there while they are happy and pick up the pieces if any should fall. That is what a good friend does. Now while I know my mistakes and misdeeds, I like to believe they have helped me become who I am and I try not to forget them, who I was or where I have been. Others clearly like to pretend/ignore/deny those same factors about themselves which is OK but when passing judgment it’s particularly hurtful when hypocrisy is involved.
In my case when I feel someone is becoming overly judgmental I tend to omit things or in some cases lie. This is obviously not the right approach and I was disappointed in myself when I realized I was doing this. I took it upon myself to apologize and bring up the subject to the few people I felt had done a 360 on me assuming that maybe their perception of my behavior was the reason for this change (maybe they didn’t realize my perception of their behavior towards me is what started the ball rolling but that isn’t to point fingers just how I felt in the situation). I was expecting an apology in return as any good friends would do to alleviate an uncomfortable situation. I knew everyone in the situation had done wrong and what some people didn’t know is I knew more than they had been telling me. I knew they were actually doing the exact same thing they were mad at me for the only difference was they (still to this day) don’t know how much I actually knew/know and I never called them out on it assuming I wouldn’t have to because I was convinced they loved me enough to just apologize and nothing more had to be said (AWESOME FRIEND ALERT). These people didn’t know that another friend had spilled very detailed beans about a situation assuming I knew already. I didn’t know and didn’t even rat out the other friend (just another glaring example of why I am such a fab friend). So here I am being judged very harshly by people I love very much and trust implicitly even still with the uncomfortable feelings. Even when I knew these people were lying to my face and doing the very thing they were accusing me of. I distanced myself waiting for an apology because it had to be on its way. I knew there was no way I wasn’t going to be apologized to but to some people their pride is more important than friendship. To them I was not worth an apology no matter how hypocritical their rationale. These same people after the fact tried to dig a deeper hole but what they didn’t know is this, I was a good friend even when they weren’t looking. I may have omitted some information or told them things happened differently than they actually did because I was tired of their hurtful comments and judgments but what they should be thankful for is that I never ratted them out. I never let people know what it is they did or said about people they “love and care” about. While these very people sit back and judge me or think I am less worthy, I am at peace with their feelings about me. I know what I have done and owned it. I know that if I wasn’t such a good friend I could have hurt them and the people they love very much but I chose not to. I may not be what these people want as a friend anymore but in reality they no longer possess the qualities I need in a friend. I see now that they have dug themselves into such a deep hole that instead of dealing with and fixing what they don’t like in their lives they focus on someone they perceive as weaker. I am content with that too. I may not resort to dirty tricks or childish schemes but my absence in their lives is what they will one day miss. When the truth comes out, as it always does, they will realize what a good friend I always have been and kick themselves for ever thinking otherwise.
In closing at the ripe old age of almost 32 I can say that I may not be perfect nor do I ever want to be. I may not be rich or a genius. I do not have a models body or the best paying job. I have yet to meet prince charming or the million other superficial things that people always associate with having a full life. What I do have is my independence which I earned. I have respect from the people that I have chosen to be in my life and who have chosen to love and understand me for who I am, not who they think I should be. I have a loving family and good group of friends. It has taken time to build the kind of relationships that are healthy and happy with the people I care most about but it has been worth it. I have proven to myself and my loved ones that I am a force. I have dreamed of things and actually attained them; few people can actually ever say that. I have struggled, been scared and hurt on more than one occasion, those have been my greatest lessons. I can see where I need to improve and make those my goals no matter how long the improvements may take. This birthday month is less about the parties or presents this year. It is about finally allowing me to pat myself on the back. I don’t have to have the I am not good enough complex any longer. I don’t need to measure up to anyone’s standards but my own. I am what matters. My goals are mine and I can and will always improve. I am going to leave my insecurities behind me. Those chips that have been on my shoulder no longer need to be there because I have proven to myself what an incredible person, woman, friend and lover I really can be. All of that takes work and reflection. I will never stop working on being the person I want to be but I will stop letting other people judgments get in my way. From now on all of those glass houses we want to deny we live in are not my problem. I don’t throw stones at yours so best you not throw them at mine anymore. That is the best celebration of my life I can think of. Anything else really doesn’t matter.