I haven’t blogged about my resolutions for 2014…
Mostly because I’ve really been giving it a lot of thought. 2014 will mark my third year as a wife, and my first year of being a mother, and I think it’s going to be a year I will never forget, so I want to make sure I make the right resolution and chart the right course for the next 365 days.
So, after about 3 weeks of thinking about it, I’ve decided that 2014 is going to be the year that I let go of my past – something I have been struggling with for a long time and only in recent years managed to even properly process.
The last two years of my life in secondary school were what I would describe as the most miserable years I had ever gone through – and a lot of it was my fault.
I was an insecure and deeply unhappy teenager plagued with self-doubt and I’m sad to say that all these things manifested themselves in me turning into a bitchy, backstabbing monster whose lies and manipulations cost her friendships and the loss of a lot of trust.
As a result, I spent half of my last year in Secondary 4 with just one or two friends who decided in the end to stick by me and see me through being ostracized and feeling humiliated in class (and whom I have kept until today). To say the breakdown of my friendships was traumatizing is an understatement – I was made to confront each and every mean thing I had said by a group of seven angry classmates who systematically grilled and questioned me while I sat in the middle of a circle. Every minute of that interrogation I was crying and my face burned in shame.
I may have deserved everything I got back then, but I can tell you that it is not easy, and very damaging, to cry yourself to sleep every night for six months as a 16 year old. To go to school every day avoiding the eye contact of people who you used to call friends and often spending recess or assembly sitting alone when your remaining friends didn’t come to school.
I am very sure I was not the only one in that group who had backstabbed or bitched, but in the end, I was the only one singled out for public shaming. It really lent a whole new meaning to “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
It was painful, it destroyed my self esteem even further, but I am glad that it happened, because it was only after being destroyed that I learned to be a new person again, and a better friend, daughter, and person. I spent all my days studying in church with my friends Joyce and Grace, who quietly counselled me through my most difficult struggles and motivated me to become a better person for myself.
As such, junior college turned out to be the opposite and it was where I made the best friends and had the most fun of my life – I learned that friends trusted, friends gave openly, and friends exist to make each other happier. Friends were genuinely happy for each other when good things happened, and there for each other when the tears came. I had open, transparent and communicative friendships which turned into sisterhoods and who provided such a strong support network for me that is still going strong today.
In the process, I set about fixing bridges. I reached out to old friends from my primary school days whom I had distanced myself from in the aftermath of my secondary school breakdown, and I am so happy we are back together and as close as we were as children of 11. When some of the group from my secondary school added me on Facebook I had no qualms accepting their requests and felt genuinely happy for them when I saw good things happening in their lives (getting engaged, married, etc). I’d put my demons to rest and couldn’t wait to continue living my life happily and peacefully.
Even when some of the remaining gossip about my “old ways” reached me through poisonous tongues when I was in University, I tried not to dwell on it – the fact is, I was a terrible person, and as long as I had my friends and as long as I knew, personally, I had changed for the better, then it should not matter. It hurt that there were still people who found it relevant to poison other people against me after four or five years but they weren’t people who mattered.
Most recently, however, I have discovered that there are people from that time in my life who still feel bitter enough about me to continue their vitriol. The happier I appear on social media or on my blog, the more their tongues wag and their resentment grows. They want to see everything that is happening in my life but they restrict what I can see about theirs. They continue to judge and point fingers and insist that I could never have changed and become a better person. These are the same people I am truly happy for and truly only wish the best for.
I was hurt in the beginning, and felt so tired – wondering why the past wouldn’t just leave me alone. But you know, I’ve realized that I am the one who needs to leave the past alone. People like that are not unhappy because I made them unhappy, but because they are unhappy with their own lives.
I used to feel I deserved all this “backlash”, resentment and having people gossip about me but you know what, I’m done it with it. I’m done with what happened over 10 years ago and I don’t need to feel bad anymore. I don’t need to feel bad about being happy or wanting good things in life.
In 2014, I’m putting everything that happened 10 years ago in a sealed envelope and not letting it matter again. I have real friends in life I need to focus on and family I need to love, and I’m not wasting another minute dwelling on the toxic stuff.
Another part of my life I am putting to bed is the aftermath of a graduation trip I took post University that nearly wrecked everything I had fixed in my life up until then.
I won’t go into specifics, but let’s just say that there was one person on the trip who behaved just like I did when I was 16 – and that her manipulations and the things she said caused me to seriously doubt myself.
If there hadn’t been K, hadn’t been two others on the trip who assured me that I had not done anything wrong, I would probably have completely freaked out. I was devastated over what I perceived as the loss of one of my best friends to this person. And what I can say is the most telling thing about it all is that almost three years on, that good friend and I have patched things up and gotten over what happened but you continue to behave in the same way.
I hope you don’t do to your new friends what you did to me but last I heard, it’s still happening. Whatever the case, I hope you make peace with yourself and find your happiness like I have found mine.
In 2014, I’m accepting that I’ve changed for the better for good and there is nothing anyone can say that will make me turn away from moving forward.
Now that I am going to have Sophie, I am more determined than ever to be an even better daughter, wife, mother and friend to all those I love. Here on out, my focus will just be on this nucleus of near and dear – life is too short to be unhappy, and what more when I have so many things to be happy about ? 🙂
So like what my friend J said on FB, 2014 means it’s time for a detox. I’m flushing all the negative out of my system and meeting the future with shining eyes. 🙂
Wish me luck !