So today Little M and I went on a playdate of sorts. It was supposed to be with an old friend from college and her child of around the same age. Instead it was with her oldest child, but Little M didn't mind at all, he is not ageist in the least when it comes to playmates. I'm so proud.
I wasn't sure how it was going to go, since I hadn't seen this friend, lets call her Alyssa(not her real name), in about 13 years. There was a falling out years ago between me and another friend, and Alyssa was awarded to the other side in the separation agreement. My side had a crappy lawyer. But I was finally free of the dead weight in my life.
And I learned something very valuable from the experience... Just because there's a separation agreement in place, it doesn't mean the other side won't eventually want to hear my side of what happened. And Alyssa was kind enough to hear me out and we both agreed that it was a godawful mess at the time, but water under the bridge now. It was really cathartic.
Then I let her in on one of the most fabulous secrets they never tell you in all the teen magazines or self help books for girls. There will come a point in your life where you DO NOT have to be friends with people you don't like!
Let me give you an example. There's a girl, let's call her Sherri (not her real name) who I always got bad vibes from. Sometimes I could point to exactly what I didn't like about her ("Oh, your ex-boyfriend and I are so happy, he said he's in love with me and he hasn't been in love for three years, weren't you dating him last fall?") Other times I'd just get off the phone with Sherri and I'd say to myself, "I genuinely hate this person, why am I friends with her?" And the answer would always be, because my friends were friends with her.
When you enter the grown up world where you have to make an effort to keep in touch, it's easy to just let these "friendships" slide. A new telephone number here, a restraining order there, you get the idea. Or just move to another state after graduation. There's no guarantee they won't follow, but it's worth a shot sometimes!
The gain in health and vitality you'll get from having that negative energy out of your life is sooooo worth the moving expense or whatever the phone company charges to change the number.
Now...you will still have to have relatives you may not like (nobody said you could get rid of those), and you'll have to deal with bosses and coworkers and spouses friends, and kids' friends' mothers that you will swear are giving you grey hair just from talking on the phone, but when you get to chose your friends, eliminate all the deadwood, and choose wisely. The people you chose as your friends are the ones who help you be a better you.
SO Alyssa, if you're out there, congrats on making your life more positive, and keep the faith that the good people around you will appreciate the "truth they don't want to hear".