30 December 2013

Past Friends


My first year of high school was definitely one of my hardest years ever. I was relatively new to the whole teenage scene, but really, everyone has been through that awkward phase in life once before.

There were these group of girls that I wanted to be friends with. To say that they messed up my life back then was an understatement. They destroyed my social life in such a thorough manner that, even now, I can't believe that I tried to make amends with them. Only now do I realize how futile it was to try and be friends with them.

From the moment that they started to destroy my life at school, my life elsewhere went on a downward spiral. My grades were bad, I started not talking to people. I had no one to talk to. Life could just be described in one phrase: It was bad.

At this hard period in my life, I met this girl Barbara. She was a senior at the time, and I had always admired her. Even now, I hold this admiration for her and the sense of confidence that she exuded. One day when I was waiting for my parents, I talked to her about my problems, and she gave me advice. Although I don't remember exactly what she told me that day, I knew that I resolved to someday be as good as her.

She was my role model throughout those hard times. Last night, I debated whether or not to message her on Facebook, telling her what a great influence she was on my life. In the end, I deleted my entire message, not wanting to be awkward, since we had fallen out of touch. At that moment, I really wished we had remained friends.

Even today, I don't know if I could say that I am a successful person that people hoped that I could be. I mean, there are moments that I am proud to say that I can be successful, but then there are moments, especially when I'm alone, that it feels as if I've messed up in the biggest way possible.

63 comments:

  1. Gina, I would urge you to send that message. I am sure she would be so happy to know that she touched at least one life, that what she said gave you hope to keep plugging away and being the best person you can be.

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  2. I too, would encourage you to send her a message. You could always shorten it and simply tell her that her friendship meant a lot and she really helped you. I think that she would love to hear from you. Don't be so hard on yourself - we all have ups and downs and are learning something all the time no matter how old we are. :)

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  3. I think you ought to send her the message as well. It doesn't matter that you've lost touch with her. What matters is letting her know she did something wonderful for you. :)

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  4. Oh, if you know where she's at on FB, I hope you will reconsider contacting her. Even awesome people like her have bad times, and she might need to hear this. We never know the power of something we have done unless the recipient tells us. One time in my life, a gal I knew for a short time sought me out to say thank you. I've never forgotten that. Happy New Year!

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  5. May be you can be friends to begin with and then like Donna says, send her a private message and let her know how good she made you feel. I see know harm in Befriending her.

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  6. PS Thanks for stopping by. the reason I started blogging is to make this world a safe place for my kids and my grand kids and people their age or any age. Please let me know what me or any of our blogger friends can do for you..

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    1. I reconnected with an old friend after losing touch and was so glad I did. Do try...friends are so important. Best wishes for the coming year.

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  7. She came into your life and helped make you better, and then left it. It's a shame she left your life but it's good that you're taking those lessons to heart.

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  8. I hated my first year of high school as well. People were so mean and cruel back then

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  9. You have described the human condition beautifully


    1.3 million Americans lose their unemployment benefits on Saturday, they can thank Rep. Paul Ryan.

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  10. Hi, Gina,
    Many of us seek the wrong friend early in life, but we learn as we go along the people who are our true friends. Too bad you deleted that email. I'm sure Barbara would have appreciated hearing from you.

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  11. Yeah! You got to send the message to Barbara. You will definitely feel better after...

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  12. All I know is that if I received an email from someone like that - it would make me feel good! sandie

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  13. A little message can't hurt, hopefully

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  14. Sounds as thought you hold yourself to a very high standard, Gina. Go easier on YOU! You're doing just fine, just as you are. I agree with all the others about sending the message, though I suggest also sending uplifting messages to yourself too.

    PS High school stinks. I felt so lousy about myself. I don't mean to make it sound easy. When you're older, you'll look back and realize how petty a lot of it was, and that you deserved much better from your so-called friends.

    Hugs to you,
    xoRobyn

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  15. I am sure that she would love to get that message from you. :) And perhaps it would be a great way to rekindle the friendship.

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  16. I think she would appreciate knowing that she impacted your life in a positive way. I would send the message. It doesn't have to be long to be meaningful. Maybe it would be easier to send if it were shorter???

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  17. Send that message, sweetheart.

    Love,
    Janie

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  18. She made a big difference in your life.
    Send the message. It doesn't matter if you haven't stayed in contact. A dear friend that my husband and I have known as long as each other, one we'd not spoken to in two years, recently committed suicide, and we only just found out yesterday. So I say, don't wait to tell someone how much they meant to you.

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  19. Gina, I agree with everyone that you should send a private Facebook message to your friend. I also had a tough time in high school, but I really bloomed in college. I went to what was considered a "suitcase school," but I seldom went home, because I got involved in various social organizations. I joined a sorority, and worked at the campus radio station. Since you like to write, maybe you would be interested in writing for the school paper, or exploring other media options. Now is your chance to shine. Gina! Good luck, and all the best in the New Year!

    Julie

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  20. We all mess up sometimes and go through hard times. My high school years were some of the worst of my life. You just have to go through them. And you do go through them and life gets better. The fact that you can handle blogging with the demands of high school tells me you can handle a lot more than you give yourself credit for.

    I hope you share with your friend, It will probably mean a lot to her. Happy New Year!

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  21. You should say hi to her. There is a reason she came across your mind. I would be honored to know I was a role model for someone.

    We all have up and downs. It's how we react that counts.

    Happy New Year.

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  22. Definitely a bad experience, but everything in life can be learned!


    My best wishes to you, thank you very much and a hug. Happy 2014! Leovi.

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  23. Don't let others bring you down. Surround yourself with kind and good people - but choose carefully, watch what people do not just what they say. You'll be much happier. Wishing you a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2014!

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  24. Maybe it's your turn to return the favor of encouragement. She might need to reconnect more than you think. :)

    Happy New Year, Gina!

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  25. Ugh, I still shudder at the thought of high school and that was almost 25 years ago. Life gets SO, SOOOOO much better once you get past young adulthood. You should totally send that message. Maybe that girl needs to know that she helped someone--you never know where she is at in her life right now.

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  26. What a great tribute to this girl. She probably has no idea of her effect on your life.

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  27. You'll never know until you try, open those hailing frequencies and make it so.

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  28. You should let her know what an impact she had on you. We never know how we affect people. I remember a card I was given when I graduated high school. It was from a girl I hardly knew. She told me she would always remember my kindness and that it helped her deal with her problems at school. Her words have always stuck with me. They've encouraged me when I've felt worthless and depressed. You should let her know. It may be that she needs your words now as much as you needed her words back then.

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  29. Some people come and go in our lives, because we only need them for a short time. I admit, if I received a message saying how much I'd helped someone, I'd be thrilled.

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  30. There's a Buddhist concept that our lives are like a series of whirlpools - you move from one to the next. If you try to fight the current, you drown. I say move on to your next whirlpool and keep it positive. If you run into people that are negative, don't let them in your life. I hope college is a more positive experience for you.

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  31. I guess we're all a mixture of failure and success, of good and bad memories.

    Wishing you all the best for 2014.

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  32. Everyone needs a role model. I believe she would certainly be proud to know she was yours.

    Most people feel uncertain at some point. Have I accomplished all that I should/could? Am I the best person I can be? Don't most of us have those questions?

    Happy 2014!
    Mary Montague Sikes

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  33. I think you should have sent the message. Even if you've fallen out of touch, it always means so much knowing you've blessed the life of someone else. Here's to awesome people and something great aspirations, eh? We all need an example of what to become. =)

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  34. Gina we all feel that way at times. And when I'm feeling that, it helps me feel better to remember that everyone has issues. EVERYONE. Those people who seem like they've got it so together, are just better at hiding their insecurities and flaws.
    Everyone wants to be appreciated and loved. I think you should've sent the message--not expecting anything in return, but just a quick friendly note of appreciation. It's those kinds of positive vibes that make the world a better place. Maybe your message to her will be a beacon of hope after she's been thru something really tough. Or maybe she'll be extra nice to someone else that day after she reads it. Do it for that reason alone, cuz the world needs more of it.
    And happy new year to you! Here's wishing 2014 brings you everything you hope for!:)

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  35. I've sent messages like the one you've described. Even if you never hear back, it's a relief to know you put the effort out there. Otherwise it will likely keep linger in the back of your mind. That's just one perspective though. Whatever you decide going forward, I wish you much luck. ~Emilyann

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  36. There was a time when I had the wrong people in my life. Once I left them, stopped chasing them, and didn't give them the time of day, my life improved in the biggest way. I also remember people who were kind to me and who gave me advice. I lost touch with some of them, and that's okay, but I would easily embrace any of them in the present. I believe you should send the message. Even if she doesn't open communications with you, I think she'll feel good that she had a positive impact on someone's life.

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  37. It's hard to see that you're friends with the wrong people until after you're not friends with them anymore. And I understand the awkwardness and fear coming from sending that message to your old friend who gave you such good advice, but I suggest considering sending it. You never know when a person needs to know they made an impact on someone's life. That they mattered.

    Happy New Year!

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  38. I think it's wonderful that you met up with someone who inspired you and helped you get your confidence back. It's only in looking back that we come to see the people who have helped us along the way. It's sad that you lost touch, but you can probably "pass it on" to someone you meet who has been devastated by others.

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  39. I'm so glad you shared this, Gina... this story just goes to show HOW MUCH one person CAN make a difference. And I think you should still send the message if you can find her! I think it's always a good thing to reach out and tell people what they've done for us--because we never know if we might need to be the tool to help others when they're in need. Wonderful post and thoughts, Gina. Thanks for this.

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  40. I would have sent the message.

    I can relate to what you went through, Gina. I had a really bad time in high school. I saw girls going through the same thing who were utterly destroyed. For whatever reason, they not only didn't destroy me, they made me strong. There's a saying: success is the best revenge. I set out to show them all. After I'd sold my early novels and made the bestseller lists, the one thing I wanted most was to go to the next high school reunion...and act like I didn't remember any of them.

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  41. I would have sent the message too. Who knows what could have happened. Whenever you start to feel down, realize that these things will pass.

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  42. I'm nothing I was expected to be, for many reasons. But I attempt to be a positive force in my little ways. I'm the sort who sends all those awkward, intensely late messages. In previous lives, perhaps I was the fool tossing love letters into the ocean, carried by empty bottles. My sympathies to you, for it's the same aching forces that delay me until they're wistful messages.

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  43. What a great post. I am sorry to hear that when you were a freshman in high school you had such a rough time with that group of girls. But, I think it is wonderful that you opened up to Barbara that day and she helped you. I know you wrote her a message and deleted it- but I think you should send it. What is the worst that could happen? You don't reconnect? What is the best that could come of it? You make someone's day by letting them know how important they were to you and you reconnect with them?

    About two years ago I got a message on fb from someone who had lived next door to me my freshman year of college. We were friendly, but I hadn't heard from her in years. She wrote me a beautiful message about how a conversation she had with me when we ran into each other junior year had changed her life. She changed her major and everything. I didn't recall the exact conversation, but that didn't change how happy the email made me. I just thought it was great that I had touched someone's life in a positive way and didn't even know it. Barbara might think the same.

    Wishing you a happy and healthy 2014!
    ~Jess

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  44. Freshman years are hard on most people. Sigh. Good thing we only have to do it once...hopefully!

    I think you should tell her. Who doesn't want to get a positive message like that?

    Keep moving beyond the things that hurt you in the past and your future will be brighter.

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  45. The good news: you have today. Make every moment count. Each one will take you closer to a brighter tomorrow.

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  46. I think that you are able to rationalize your feelings is a good thing--one that many people are unable to do so they are unable to grow.

    I wouldn't be discouraged by self-doubt. It is something that can certainly be used as a driver to succeed in ways that one has never imagined.

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  47. Aren't we all like that? I think it just means being human. It's great, though, that you can write so openly about it. Have a lovely week.

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  48. I am so sorry to hear that you had to deal with a cruel group of girls. Seems every school has them (mine did). I'm glad you had a nice friend that helped you through that tough time. <3 I bet she'd love to have heard from you. :)

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  49. Oh god, mean girls are awful. I went through a period in late elementary school and early middle school that sounds similar to what you went through. I'm so sorry. I also think you should message Barbara, and tell her. How could it be anything but encouraging to hear how you've positively impacted someone's life?

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  50. Gosh, those horrid memories! I am back in my old hometown, and look at those who bullied me and know I am better than them. I got a life. They are so into themselves they have nothing but possessions and vanity. I actually feel sorry for them now! Happy New Year and good luck in college.

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  51. It seems as if you managed the issue very well. Seeking help from someone you admired was such a smart thing to do. And go ahead and send her a message. People like knowing they've helped others. Make her feel good. She improved your high school experience.

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  52. I know how you feel - there's someone I've almost written to a number of times, to try to tell them what a good influence they had on me, but I've never done it. I'm sure they'd be pleased to hear from us, though...

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  53. girls, especially teenage girls, can be cruel. i teach high school and i know some mean girls. they're ruthless! but the thing about HS, it seems so important and dramatic at the time, but in the big picture it's tiny. unfortunately, you can tell teenagers that and they have to find their own way to survive and develop themselves and try to fit in while still trying to stand out! the best advice i give teens is to not take the drama too seriously.

    so glad you are doing well and getting into college! you can always reach out with a simple - "i was thinking of you - hope all is well" message to your friend. i bet she'd love to hear from you!

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  54. You got this. If you're striving to be the kind mentor rather than the snotty, manipulative pseodo-friend, then you're doing just fine. I already know you're a smart and kind person.

    Sarah Allen
    (From Sarah, with Joy)

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  55. Some people can be really horrible, and I think there's no worse time for it than high school, when we are often at our most vulnerable and searching for the place we fit in. I hated high school for that reason and resolved to picking my friends very carefully in the end. There was only one person in the class I graduated with who I really considered a friend and I fear we have not kept in touch very well over the past year. It is a shame that you and Barbara did not maintain contact, but perhaps that little awkward message to tell her what she really did for you would be worth it, not just for you to express your appreciation, but for her to know that she made a difference in someone's life.

    Anyway, great post.

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  56. It's been a long time ago but I was bullied in school by a group of girls who made my life so miserable. We just dealt with it the best we could. It is sad to say, but even as adults we come across those we've called The Mean Girls in the past or those types of groups who live to make others lives miserable, even on at work. I personally am dealing with a similar circumstance at my place of work. If one person makes a difference in your life, you should let them know. Great post btw!

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  57. Bullying is a cruel thing that only now schools are realizing is so damaging. I'm not sure if I would have sent the message either Gina.

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  58. my advice: send that message!!! it'll make her feel like she had done something powerful and heart touching!

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  59. I bet she'd love to hear that--you should send the message. :)

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  60. Awww here's hoping your 2014 will continue positively and with many more friends like lovely Barbara! Take care
    x

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  61. Maybe you should just try and get back into touch with her.

    Also, those of us who worry about failing have what's called a spirit of excellence. It motivates us to be the best we can, as long as we can keep the fear under control.

    Keep getting better at what you want to do. :-)

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  62. I'm glad you found someone to help you through the hard times. High school can be brutal.

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