Quote of the Day

Monday, March 15, 2010

and then fly away...

When I was much younger, I think maybe the thing I feared most (besides caves and mosquito lions) was rejection. It was sometimes paralyzing. I lived for a while largely in a lonely limbo of denial, unable to understand or fully admit that wherever I seemed to turn and no matter how hard I tried, I just did not belong. Stubbornly unwilling to accept that people could very simply just not like me. Because for some reason I can't fully explain, it was just so important for everyone to like me.

I had to grow up a little (and find a more diverse pool of peers) to recognize the importance of real friends . The ones who want to be around you because they see you, not because you're invisible; who want to be your friend because they value the person you are, not because of what they think they can get out of you and how they can take advantage of you; those who make the effort to know you because they see that there might just be more to you than what's apparent on the surface.

But I did learn this. I learned how to recognize a true friend and how to say "fuck it" to the opinions of those who are not. I learned to not care about what people think, except for the opinions of those few who really matter, and realized that the most important person to make happy is myself.

And yet, even though I know so much better now, I will admit that there is still the occasional situation, the moment of doubt or rejection that takes me by surprise and finds me reverting back to my 12-year-old mindset of "What? Why would anyone not like me? Why would someone not want to be my friend? Surely this must be a mistake, how do I fix this?"

And this is when the "adult" me has to take over and remember the reality: that for whatever reason, there are going to be people you meet along the way who are not going to like you, may even hate you. There are people who may think you're A-Ok but are unable or unwilling to see any deeper. There will be people who think they know you but have no idea, and there will be people who get to know you but decide they don't need you in their life.

And as hard as it can be to accept, those individuals--the ones who misjudge you, who don't want to make the effort to really know you, who don't think it's worth their while to spend time with you or sometimes even to properly acknowledge you...they simply don't belong in your life. Not when you have friends and family who sincerely care, and so many amazing people in the world yet to meet.

Part of me really wishes I could travel back in time and tell this to my younger self. Because the realization is so liberating, the moment so profoundly freeing and empowering when you accept that it's not worth caring about, and just let go. But I guess some things you just have to learn the hard way for them to really stick.


  1. Your point about people who don't "get" you or properly acknowledge you is very poignant. I don't think I've been able to put that into succinct words before, but it's the realization my subconscious makes when someone from my past that I hardly ever interacted with, what's to pretend they are my best friend and that we "shared" something. This seems most apparent at High School reunions.

    Maybe I should give them another chance to acknowledge me, but the question is whether I want or need that. The ones you "get" you the first time are probably the ones worth having as friends.

  2. Agreed. I don't like to write people off so I'm all for giving second chances but I am no longer willing to extend effort towards friendship if I don't feel its being reciprocated on the other end, and I no longer feel the need to change myself or give too much unconditionally in seeking out the approval of others. Because I've realized that a)I don't need to and b)it's really not worth it. And if someone's already thrown that first chance back in my face, I am undoubtedly going to be much more cautious and scrutinizing of their intentions the next time around.

    As for the "blast from the past" scenarios, I think that some people can really change and maybe over time gain the insight to see things in others they may have been too immature or too impatient to see before... but I often have to grit my teeth when old acquaintances treat me like a long-lost friend and want to "catch up" and be connected on every social network known to man just because we happened to grow up in the same town or share some classes (but were never friends). There's just something about that that rings false to me.

    I think the most difficult is when you're faced with a situation in which you really thought another person "got" you, or at least was trying to, only to find yourself just utterly wrong. But like I said, those people don't belong in your life and aren't worth worrying over. And if someday they should decide they want back in, you can deal with it then and decide if they're someone you really want to know. But either way, their loss, right?! ;)

  3. "I think the most difficult is when you're faced with a situation in which you really thought another person "got" you, or at least was trying to, only to find yourself just utterly wrong. But like I said, those people don't belong in your life and aren't worth worrying over."

    that may be true, but it is so hard to remember/believe it when it happens. especially if very few people 'get' you begin with.

  4. True nough. It can be extremely difficult to accept and to let that person go (whether they be friend, crush, gf/bf, etc.) But in the end that's really the only thing you can do when faced with the fact that they are unable to understand and accept you, or with the sad truth that they just don't give a shit.

    Well, I guess either that or change yourself to try and "fit their mold", or attempt to change them... but either or both of these are sure to lead to nothing good...

  5. i think i agree with everything being said here, but a part of my more emotional mind is trying to convince me there are reasons why it's not true.

    but i know it is. it's just a hard concept to accept at certain times.

  6. I couldn't have read this at a better time, as I seem to be at both ends of this simultaneously. I guess sometimes, even if you've been telling yourself the very thing. It takes hearing it from someone else to finally listen. Thank you for that!

    Standing at the business end of the sword as well, I will say that I do not feel like someone who did not get the other or did not care for them. Sometimes what you're willing to give to a friendship is not enough for the other and both will be forced to let go. But the amputated is not always a dark horse of rejection and callousness, though it may be easier to think of them as such. Sometimes what the other wanted was too much (unintended rhyme).