Last night, someone from my past contacted me to make amends. It was a very random message, as he even admitted it was completely out of left field. He claimed to have been mean to me, but that must have been a rough part of my life that I blocked out.
During elementary school, my parents were going through a divorce and I had a not so nice stepfather. It was a hard time for me, and I didn’t have a lot of friends. I was mostly isolated from my peers and spent a lot of time in the library.
By junior and senior high, I had swung to the opposite extreme of the shy overweight girl I was in elementary school with no friends. I made tons of friends, but I also hurt a lot of people along the way.
I was truly a bitch–to many, many people. I lived my life with a “devil may care” attitude and hurt a lot of people along the way. I can’t even begin to make amends with all of the people my selfish actions when I was younger affected.
But this message reminded me–It’s never too late to make amends.
I’m lucky to have a good core group of friends, my ride or dies, that have been with me through everything. Sure, some of them have left at different points, but in all honesty, I don’t blame them. I was the kind of person no one wanted to be around when I was in the troughs of my mental illness.
When I moved and got in a serious long term relationship, my friendships were no longer the focal part of my life. I made a new life in a new city, with new friends and a new partner.
But this has made me think–Making amends, even as an AA step, is an important thing to do. It’s part of the 12 steps of AA, and I think it’s an important one. I don’t even know where I would start to make amends, but I also have tried to make amends and gotten responses like “so, are you still crazy?” That’s kind of off-putting and makes me not want to make amends.
All I know is that all of that bad energy I put out when I was younger, all of that anger and rage and devil may care, is gone.
Life has a way of reminding you what is important. It can humble you in an instant.
And yet, these people reaching out to me claim I am “an inspiration.” I’m not sure if that is the word I would use to describe myself, but it helps to know that by sharing my story and putting myself out there, I am inspiring others.
If I am nothing else these days, I am real. I am real about what I experience; I am raw and open about my feelings.
And I am happy.
At the end of the day, we all have people we have wronged. We all have people we have taken advantage of or whose feelings we have hurt, but as we grow older and mature, hopefully we realize that this is not the way to treat people, and that by giving good, we get good.
I have never held anything against the people who bullied me, people who left me, whatever it may be. There is only one person in the world I will never forgive.
But everything else… like water off a duck’s back.
Life is short. Don’t spend it being angry. Don’t spend it rehashing old fights and reopening old wounds.
Spend it trying to make the world a better place. Spend it being the best version you can of you. Spend it showing the people who are important to you just how much you appreciate them and love them.
I am grateful for the people in my past whom have reached out to me through my writing, people who I never thought I would hear from again.
It is humbling to know that my writing has had such an impact on so many people. But my work is not done. Neither is yours
It is a New Year. And yet, it is a year that carries fear for many people, both in the US and across the world. As my good friend put it, my resolution is to live one day at a time, which I think is possibly the best resolution you could make.
By living in the future, you invite anxiety into your life and create unnecessary drama.
Live in the moment. Appreciate the moment.
Keep fighting, Warriors.