You know that feeling you get when you sometimes look back and wonder: "How did it all come to this?"
It's been 5 years.. but Facebook has a queer way of reopening old wounds, and I think, on days like these, there is a heightened sense of awareness towards the "struggles" that occurred.
On days like these, I wonder : What could I possibly have done to upset them, even though I don't think that we had ever spoken more than a few words face to face? Perhaps it's been so long that they have forgotten, or refuse to remember because they'd cringe when they looked back at the things they said, because I do. I cringe at the fact that I had done nothing apart from letting these memories torment me.
I guess I could have retaliated, but I didn't understand their game and I had no desire to learn the rules.. so, I ran. I tried to put as much distance as I possibly could between each and every one of them once I'd graduated. I burned bridges, severed all ties and kept only a select few around me.
But the following years were no different. I tried starting life afresh but now that I think of it, nothing really changed. I think the only thing I ever learned was just to stop making friends, to stop opening up to people because they would just listen to what I had to say, and laugh at me behind me back... and it was exhausting. I felt trapped and suffocated. I constantly wished I was stronger back then so that things would've turned out differently.
Until the day I decided to stop giving them power over me.
I decided to be thankful instead : because I learned to turn inwards and focus on myself. I learned to be humble, to be sincere, to be kind, to be helpful, to be forgiving. I learned to check my own expectations, and I learned to stop trying to impress.
And now, come to think of it, I wouldn't change a thing.
“The past was worth remembering and knowing in its own right. It was not behind us, never truly behind us, but under us, holding us up, a foundation for all that was to come and everything that had ever been.”
― Laura Lippman, In a Strange City