Day 14: I am thankful for all the progress I have made in terms of friendship.
This has been a very long winding road for me. Friendships were never easy for me to really come by. As I was growing up, there weren't a lot of girls in the neighborhood for me to associate with. I tended to stay to myself.
I got teased a whole lot as I was growing up. It made me feel like I wasn't a worthy enough human being to be friends with. Therefore, I would grasp at whatever straw was out and tell myself the straw was enough.
For example, I was known to be pretty smart, and when a test or a major assignment would come up, I’d be the person who suddenly gained a bunch of friends. They wanted answers; they wanted to pass the class. I knew these people really didn't like me; then just wanted what I would be able to provide.
After the hype of the major tests was over, I’d go right back into obscurity. The cycle of ridicule would restart. It felt good to be wanted, even if that high wasn't worth the end result.
It was around junior high, going into high school, when I decided the straws weren't enough. If someone wanted to be friends with me, I wouldn't put myself out there or make the first move. Each time had proven to be disastrous to me.
I was one who provided equal opportunity; during those years, I didn't discriminate. I didn't care about color. I didn't care about gender. I didn't care about sexual orientation. I didn't even care about habits—even bad ones. As long as you wanted to spend time with me, it was okay. Or was it?
I began to realize since I didn't put down any boundaries as it pertained to the friendships, then the people behaved as if there were no rules. So I experienced many instances of betrayal from people I believed were my friends.
In hindsight, I realize just because there were certain things or behaviors I wouldn't do didn't mean they knew it or they would adhere to it. As much as I want to get mad at those other people, I have to take a certain level of accountability because I didn't communicate what were my boundaries and I didn't have any requirements in place in terms of the type of friendships I wanted. Even how I defined friendship –for everyone didn't have the same definition.
I am learning there’s nothing wrong with me not wanting certain types of people to be part of my circle.
There’s no crime in controlling the level of interaction I have with certain people.
So, I've been growing, and I am thankful for the growth.