Thursday, May 18, 2006

The lessons I haven't learned

I firmly believe that there are certain lessons in life we must learn. I also firmly believe that we will be presented with opportunities to learn these lessons until we succeed. And I also believe that the situations in which these opportunities are embedded get yuckier and yuckier if we choose not to learn them the first (or second or third) time around.

Let me give you an example.

Starting at a young age, I've had problems with friends. Not all of my friends, and not very often, but it's definitely been a reoccuring theme. Enough so for me to (eventually) to figure out that there was something more going on than just problems with friends. Know what I mean?

The first time was when I was very young, 7 or 8, and a relatively newish friend caused a lot of trouble and generally made me miserable until she decided to make someone else miserable. I remember coming home in tears and a blanket of incomprehension. Why, I would ask my mother. What I now know is that behind every why is a me. Why me?

Then we moved. And it happened again, this time when I was 12. A very good (up until then) friend turned on me, in a really big way. And made it her mission to recruit as many followers in her anti-Nicole crusade as possible. I temporarily lost a lot of friends and was generally ignored and scorned by a large group of people. Then, magically, months later, it ended, as it had begun, with no logic. Said friends spoke to me again and we all acted as if nothing had happened. But it had. And again, why me?

Next time around, I was 15. Another very good friend (up until then) became boderline nasty with me, but without cutting me off completely. Again, the same dénouement, we went back to being friends, but of course, things were never the same. How could they be? And yet again, why me? What did I do?

College pretty much went off without a hitch. I was learning about boys, I didn't have time for girlfriend politics. Post-college too. I was lulled into thinking my lesson learning days were over (at least in the friendship arena). Wrong.

I certainly wasn't suspecting a situation like that to come up here. Things are so different here (ha ha). You can run (to France), but you cannot hide from the lessons you must learn.

And so, last year, another friend turned on me. She was much more subtle than the others had been, and much more manipulative. But this time I really think I learned the lesson. It has never been about what I did to them to bring on the wrath. It has never been about why they didn't like me anymore. It has always been about who I am when this happens. My ablility to remain honest and compassionate when faced with lies and disdain. And about not giving into the why-me in me, the victim who leaves her spirit in the past with those lessons unlearned.

16 comments:

beth said...

I agree that there are lessons to be learned, but somethings, especially when one is a young girl and dealing with other young girls - there is no lesson, just insecurity, jealousy and issuses along those lines. I and almost every girl and woman I know has gone thru the same thing. A few months ago (Nov to be exact) the same thing happened to me. I carry my emotions on my sleve so to speak so I can get hurt easily if I let myself. So don't feel alone, it happens to all of us. I am happy to say that we've been friends practically since birth - and all 24 years (ha) since then!

Nicole said...

I'm sure you're right - that all of us go through things like that. And also as to possible reasons behind the problems. But I don't think it's ever to early to learn lessons from crappy situations. Oh my, we're going to be 25 this year? A whole quarter of a century.

beth said...

Yes, I believe a quarter of a century is correct! I glanced in the mirror as I wrote that last sentence and even I can't help but laugh!

zeb said...

Just use my motto don't get mad get even.

Nicole said...

Zeb - so much for learning lessons.

Lorraine said...

Sigh...

Nicole said...

Lorraine - well put.

Anonymous said...

I had a similiar experience with an adult friend when I first moved to our town 3 years ago. When we are kids, we might not know any better or just say and do stupid things. Sometimes you don't realize the true meaning of friendship until you are older or time has passed. But when you're an adult, there's really just no excuse. It makes me angry and frustrated too...But we're really probably better off without those friends as they were not our "true or dear" friends anyway.

Nicole said...

Anonymous - Much better off.

charlie said...

People!

Sigh

[scars]

charlie

Jen said...

I was recently introduced to your Blog, very recently, as in 2 days ago (Tues, May 16). A very good friend sent me the link thinking I may be interested in reading about an old friend. I was indeed very interested! Often times over the past almost 20 years since I had seen and/or talked to this friend I had wondered where she was and what she was doing…was she well (I hoped so), successful (I imagined so), happy, married, kids etc…you get the picture. So over the past couple of days I have read the entire blog, including most of the comments, and have found the answers to many of my questions.

Then today (again only 2 days since I learned this blog existed) I read the daily post and find it an unbelievable coincidence that it is about “old friends”. Being that I fall into the category of “old friends” I cannot help but wonder the identity of each subject in the story. I know, I know, you may say the identity is unimportant, being that the importance of the story is the lesson learned (or not learned at the time). Nonetheless, I wonder all the same…

Anyway, it was great to read your blog and find you are doing well. Maybe one day soon we could exchange emails. I would like that!!

zeb said...

I guess I should have written what mom used to always say "do unto others"

christi said...

relationships between girls are so complex...just be happy that you have two boys!!

and quarter century...that's me in a few months...just had to rub it in a bit! :)

Nicole said...

Charlie - eh, oui.

Jen - Hi! I've wondered about you too. FYI, I didn't know you had the link to my blog and you are not referred to in this post. The first story was when I was not yet living in NL and the second was in jr. high but you weren't involved (and even if you had been, it REALLY doesn't matter, it's all so water under the bridge) and the third, in high school, was not a mutual friend of ours - another group. I just thought it was interesting that it happened again here and my analysis is about me, not the friends, I could not presume to understand their motivations. Our mutual old friend who gave you the link has my email, please send me yours.

Christi - isn't it cool to have an aunt who's the same age as you?

christi said...

haha, riiight.

beth said...

Nicole and Zeb - I can practically hear mama G's voice when saying
"do unto others".