When I was in the 3rd grade I would get in a fist fight with a kid named Jason Philippe at least once a week. Yep, he had NO problem hitting a girl, therefore I had no problem kicking his ass. Jason was average size, athletic and a wise ass. We were actually really good buddies when we weren’t fighting. He may have actually been the first boy to chase me around the yard and kiss me. Yes, I said third grade, don’t judge me. Anyway, I don’t really remember why we would fight or how it escalated into physical violence. I think it was because we usually played basketball during recess and things would get heated and a block turned into a slap on the arm, then calling the other a jerk, then the punches flew. But let it be known I never threw the first punch. Why am I telling you this? Because I think that was one of the first life lessons that taught me forgiveness. I had to spend a LOT of time with Jason because we went to school together and his family lived next door to me. I had two sisters that didn’t like sports, playing He-Man or seeing how many houses we could clear hitting a tangerine with a tennis racket so I played with Jason. I can’t say I was very competitive, but at a young age the boys were competitive with ME because I could hang….truth be told, I usually won. That may sound cocky, but another truth is that my athletic ability peaked in the 3rd grade and I’m merely average or slightly below average when it comes to competing in sports as an adult. I got made fun of for being an athletic girl; anytime I won at any game against the boys I was NEVER congratulated, I was showered with insults and name calling. I didn’t get it as a kid, but I do now. But day after day I’d play ball with the boys, have fun and laugh with them then fight with them and take a verbal beating anytime I did well and even worse when I won. Kids will be kids.
I wonder how many of those experiences had a part in shaping who I am today. I learned to forgive every single day and I didn’t let little things bother me. I wanted to play ball the next day so I didn’t want to waste time being mad at the other kids and pouting in the corner. But I didn’t just sit around and take a beating either, I defended myself. Making peace just seemed to make life so much easier. I just learned to weigh the importance and let things go at a very young age. From age 13 to this day I can count the number of “friend fights” I’ve had on one hand. I don’t know if it’s because I surround myself with good people or if I’m TOO forgiving. Maybe a combination of both, because it’s no doubt a fact that I surround myself with good people. I’ve had my feelings hurt, I’ve been wronged, I’ve been betrayed, and I’ve been abandoned. I’m sure you can say the same, no? We’ve ALL been through it. So why do some people fight and some people don’t? Why do some fights go on for years and some of the same nature are solved with a 10 minute conversation? Is there a formula and if so can someone please share it with me?
Last week I ran into my ex-boyfriend for the first time in years. This was THE boyfriend whom I had intended on marrying. It was really unexpected and when I looked up and saw him I jumped up and ran over to say hi without even thinking. I felt absolutely nothing emotional, good or bad, it was just like seeing an old friend I haven’t seen in years. It was actually nice to chat for that 2 minutes and have a mini catch-up conversation. I mentioned it to a friend of mine who has known me since I was 14 and she said “OH MY GOSH! Was it weird? What did you say? etc”. I just said it was fine, no big deal and she couldn’t believe I wasn’t all worked up or even that I was so friendly to him. Human nature seems to get angry, stay angry and get even….at least that’s what I’ve witnessed. Don’t get me wrong, I spent a couple years being angry at this guy, but I remember the moment nearly 2 years ago when I just thought “It’s not worth wasting my energy on angry feelings anymore. I’m over it”. And I meant it. I’ve completely forgiven him for the betrayal, the hurt and everything that came along with it. Do you think that’s right? I’m not asking because I feel like I’m wrong, but I’m curious of your opinions. Should some things never be forgiven and should people be reminded forever of their mistakes?
I get frustrated with people a lot lately, whether they’ve wronged me, they misjudge me or they simply don’t understand me. I’m sure people get equally frustrated with me for various reasons, one being that I’m exceptionally moody. But no matter how hurt, mad or frustrated I get, I always let it go in an hour, a day or in extreme cases, sometimes a week. Without fail, the things that frustrated me fade to grey and the things I enjoy about that person come to the surface and seem to be what matter more to me. Call me an asshole behind my back? That sucks, but you’re entitled to your opinion, I’ll still have a high five for you when I see you in the hall. I’m not going to lose sleep over stuff like that. Piss me off and yell at me when it’s completely unwarranted? Yeah, I’ll get mad back but I’ll love you again in an hour and we can laugh about it.
I heard a few years back that Jason had died unexpectedly in his sleep. He had a medical condition of some sort that he was unaware of and just didn’t wake up one day. I was really sad when I heard the news even though I haven’t seen him in 20 years. I was also really glad that I was friends with him every day that I knew him, even if we had a fight. I’ve got a lot of growing up to do in a lot of ways, but I think I’ll maintain my “over-forgiving” ways. It’s really cliche’, but life is way too short to misunderstand, stay mad or let the little things drive you crazy. And that’s all I have to say about that.