I hope you had a merry and wonderful Christmas!
One of my favorite gifts by far was a box of signed young adult books by first time authors. My mom is friends with a woman who recently published “The Geek Girl’s Guide to Cheerleading” and she donated the box to a silent raffle for Black Pine Animal Park. My mom knew I was interested in it, so she bid on it and won!
Anyway, the first book I’m reading right now is called “The Hate List.” The short version is that it’s the story of a girl who is dating a guy who goes on a shooting spree at their high school. To cope with being the outsiders, they make a “hate list,” which is what he uses to choose his victims later. She wasn’t charged with anything associated with the crime, but life will never be the same for her.
Anyway, I’m only a few pages into the book and the main character is talking about “that person.” The one we’ve all had – the person that, for some reason, decides they don’t like us. Maybe this person used to be a friend, and maybe they never were. Maybe they used to be close and know all your secrets, or maybe they just don’t like you for some reason. Everyone has that person. Right?
So, it got me thinking about “that person” from high school for me. H didn’t like me. I never really knew why. As far as I can remember, I never did anything to hurt her or to make her dislike me. Maybe it was because she could intimidate me. Maybe it was because I was an awkward, emotionally distraught kid in middle school. Maybe it was just for some reason she decided I would be the one she didn’t like. She was a bit of a bully, I guess, to everyone. But, for some reason she had a special hatred just for me.
She made parts of high school hard – parts like gym class, especially. I remember standing up to her once, and then the gym teacher felt like she had to walk me to my next class so H didn’t attack or something.
It’s funny how I haven’t thought of her for years, really. She was, in the grand scheme of things, a very small part of my high school experience – and of my life. I don’t wish her any ill will now, either. I do wonder what happened to her – where did life take her? Did she find any joy and happiness? Did she go to college, get married, have kids?
And then I think about what would happen if we met face-to-face now. Would she still dislike me so much? I’ve reconnected on a casual basis with a lot of people from my high school (thanks to facebook, mostly) and we’ve all grown and changed so much. Would she be the same or would she be able to just let high school be high school and move on?
I know people now that struggle with their relationship to their person. Feelings are hurt and emotions are frayed. People change and for some reason, sometimes that change means they no longer want to share our life experiences. I find that hard. But, looking back over my life, I’ve seen the seasons of friendships as they come and go. A few have stuck around for years, but there are those people that, at one point, I considered my closest friends – and now I have no idea where they are and what they’re doing. I guess that’s part of growing and changing.
But, back to that person – who is yours? Have you made your peace with your person, even if it’s just on your end? I know if I saw H now, I would hold no grudge (although part of me would still wonder if she just wanted to punch me, probably) and I want her to live a happy and good life. I hope she’s found joy and peace and love in her life. And I hope that whatever it was that made her hate me so much has passed her by…