Something that I have come to learn in adult hood is that people change. Like a lot. There have been many people who I thought were my friends, and suddenly they have proved that is not the case. People who had seemed one way, suddenly they are different. I have been dealing with this every since I have turned 18, and it’s something that I don’t think will ever change.
My first roommate in college was my first taste of this. I mean sure there were those people in high school. But that was high school, I figured people were still figuring stuff out and in college people would pretty much just be how they presented themselves. Not really the case, poor 18 year old me. When I had met my roommate in college, she seemed nice and peppy. I pretty much had instant “friends”. For about 2 weeks I had people to eat with and things to do. Places to go. People to talk to. This is kind of a lot for someone who is naturally introverted and really sucks at making friends. I say for about 2 weeks cause that is really how long it lasted for me.
Suddenly my roommate was telling people about her life, laughing about it because she had painted this super perfect life to show her family but really she was a “bad” girl. Don’t get me wrong, I am not judging and I’m not about to make comments about someones lifestyle. But we went to a Christian college and she was making plans to be a youth minister, but bragging about how many guys she had snuck home while her mom was still there. It’s an entirely different thing to paint yourself as this perfect person, claiming to follow a certain life and then having it all be a lie. Just be honest, truly it just makes everything easier.
After she had started bragging about stuff like that, she began to show it off in her real life as well. She had brought a guy home to the dorm, and mind you while we had a sizable dorm this is still incredibly awkward. I won’t say much more, you can pretty much guess the idea of what happened here. After that things were just really rocky, she tried to apologize passing off the encounter as just kissing the guy. I was 18, this is new to me and I had no clue what to do but I wasn’t stupid as to what had really happened. People had asked me why I wasn’t getting along with my roommate and I just answered with the truth of what happened. I didn’t make a habit of spreading it all around, and I only told the one or two people who had asked me. Maybe that was too far, but I wasn’t sure how to really explain what had went down without the truth. The moment that really ended things was a few days later when she cornered me in front of my new “friends” essentially yelling at me because people now knew what she had done. She told me she had a reputation to uphold and I needed to stop spreading lies about her. I soon moved out of the dorm unofficially to a friends dorm who had no roommate at the time. I tried my best to contact our RA and resolve this, asking to officially move. The request was denied, I was told that we had to work it out and get along. There wasn’t anything to work out though, I just knew I needed to switch roommates because I was not prepared to handle all that drama. I contacted the person in charge of all the RA’s and when we finally had the meeting I told him what happened he immediately apologized and told me to move they would get me a key as soon as possible.
Now this girl turned out to be pretty nice actually, after her crazy sort of party like phase in the first year or two. But she was nasty to me and had somehow got everyone to believe that I was the one lying. I had thought that she was the person she made herself out to be but she wasn’t. That’s fine, truly, but just don’t lie about who you are.
This isn’t the only person in my life to exhibit this behavior either. I’m not sure what it is, maybe I tend to pick the wrong friends or maybe I just suck and am generally hated. But recently I’ve had some friends who suddenly have no time for us. Whenever I’d ask them to hang out there was an excuse. Now, I am an adult I realize people have lives and that we are busy. But after about 6+ months of someone being busy you kind of get the picture. If you truly care you make time for friends. When I had told them how I felt hurt and that it seemed as though they didn’t want to hang anymore I offended them. I wasn’t able to be honest and express that I was deeply hurt and I missed them. Instead I just made them mad, and they said they were just busy. I don’t want to go into a lot of detail, but of the things they listed that they had going on, one thing in particular wasn’t something that needed to be keeping them busy. It was easily rescheduled and could easily be done at another time but we were told that we couldn’t hang out because of it. When something becomes more important than friends (not just anything though something that can be arranged, moved or honest to goodness just a hobby like reading a book or gaming or something) than you begin to realize that these people really don’t want you in their life. And it hurts, so much.
I don’t want this post to be entirely a dump post though. Yes people change and they can hurt you. I’ve had this happen several times, the worst of these being my friends who seem as though they just don’t like us anymore. To be honest, if that is the case I would much rather that just be said then to be continued to be fed excuses. But I have many friends in my life, wonderful friends who have stuck by my side no matter what.
I did meet some people in college who mean very much to me and I love them. And they make the effort to see me and to talk to me. I have friend who flies out to visit us (he lives 6 hours away) and another friend who surprises me with awesome phones calls. I don’t have to talk to them everyday, and I certainly don’t see them everyday. My friend who visits does have the luxury of flights basically whenever he wants so that helps, but these friends make time for me. They make time to talk, they listen, they visit and they are just generally there for me. I know that I can count on them, I can share my most profound life issues with them and they understand and/or listen.
And while I feel crushed, overwhelmed by the pressing feelings of hurt and loneliness I know that I do have a support system. Sometimes, you just can’t get people to realize how much they have hurt you. And you know what, it’s okay. When this happens, do your best to patch things up. Be the best that YOU can be and just move on. I won’t be asking those friends to hang out again, I’ll wait until they come to me. If they ever do. I slowly stopped contacting so much, because every time I did I felt as a failure or a less than person. We don’t need people like that in our lives, we really truly don’t. I’m not saying it to be mean about it either, but we can quietly let go and move on with our lives. Because people do change, and that’s okay. It can help us figure out who our real friends are, the ones who will stick with us no matter what. And if a friend can’t be there for you then don’t bend over backward trying to get them to be there for you.
Life is too short, we are getting too old, and it’s too painful to have to keep making ourselves feel like crap over someone else. For my yoga training we had to read the book “The Four Agreements” and in one of the chapters the agreement was “don’t take anything personally” going as far as to say if someone hurts us it’s not about us it’s about them. This resonates with me. It’s so true, and I try to remember this everyday. When I feel as though I suck, or I am hated, I just tell myself it isn’t about me, it’s about them and I just need to continue to live my life and not worry about others. Toxic people don’t need to be in our lives. And we can all quietly let them go, chances are they won’t even notice anyways.