I woke up yesterday looking like this:
I went and played with this little dude (blog people, meet Benjen!):
I did my yoga, went to a friend's for lunch (and got to meet her adorable little baby!) and then at 2 pm I turned my hair into this:
Then I grocery shopped, made a cake and cinnamon rolls, and headed to my man's. At which point Mother Nature had (very inconveniently) decided it should start snowing. It was a very slick drive all the way to my boyfriend's, and then this morning I woke up and saw this:
That's right, folks. My crazy boy-fran (whose name is Cam, btw) walks out to the garage to get his drink of choice...in his feet. Because who needs shoes (or the sandals right next to the door)?!
Then I turned on our little lizard dude's lights (his name is Ned...Ned and Benjen! Points if you get it!) and I saw this face staring at me, clearly wondering whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy is it morning:
So that is my pictorial version of yesterday (and this morning). The actual version felt much busier! And something kind of big happened. I suppose it's only a "thing" if I make it one, and I've debated whether or not to write about it, but I think I will.
First, preface: Last year I was supposed to be in a wedding for someone I had been best friends with for twenty years. Really long (and bridezilla nightmare) story short: I wasn't. I am leaving out a lot, here, but she said a lot of really horrible things to me, centering around the fact that I couldn't afford to attend her bachelorette party (I had just had surgery and wasn't working) and ultimately I told her to decide that - if all these things she felt about me were true - did she really want me in the wedding?
She decided I was being too selfish and no, I didn't have to stand up, if I "couldn't be there" for her.
Needless to say, it's a shitty (pardon) way to end a friendship. But the friendship definitely ended. On my part, it wasn't just what she said, it was the fact that I had just had surgery and all she could ask me (via text...no speaking) was, "Do you have your teal shoes yet?" and nothing in the realm of "Hey I heard they cut you open, how are you doing?"
So anyways...yesterday when I was grocery shopping, I saw her. And she saw me.
For the first time in over a year.
Now, I have glasses and a much different haircut (great planning, that) so she looked at me for about two seconds before realizing who I was - and then she looked down, very fast, calling her husband over. At the checkout I could see her from my periphery, looking over at me and then turning away when my head turned ever so slightly towards her.
I'd like to think that means she's ashamed, and that she knows she was a selfish bitch. But she probably doesn't. (I'm sorry for the swearing, but I truly feel they are the only words that are strong enough.)
Now, I don't know how she really felt, but my reaction was visceral. Fight or flight. I felt angry and vulnerable that I was caught off guard. My heart was racing and I started shaking. I desperately wanted Cam - my love and protector - to be there. I wanted to feel safe. I wanted to punch something. Punch her. I wanted to confront her on what seemed like the busiest day that Jewel has ever seen, and ask her how she could treat someone she called a best friend for twenty years the way she treated me. Why had she asked me to go into debt for her? I wanted to be selfish, and say all the things I didn't say last year because, contrary to her opinion, I wasn't trying to ruin her wedding - I was just asking her to care about me, her friend, a little, and stop thinking about bridesmaids dresses and shoes for a few minutes.
But I didn't do any of those things. I just kept on walking, feeling my heart beating, and analyzing the situation.
And when I got home, I went up to my mom and said (after she told me how much she loved my hair) that my soul felt dirty. That I felt the need to ring it out with something happy and light.
Because, in spite of my surgery and the painful and frustrating cycle that was recovery and physical therapy, not working and then struggling to work (doing massage) for six months after surgery, the roller coaster of emotion and self doubt while trying to find a (desk) job, and being called so many names and having my character torn apart by a "friend"...this has actually been one of the best years of my life. I have been happy. I have become very good at "going with the flow" and allowing what happens to happen - because I truly believe that you cannot control some things that happen, but you can control your reactions. And for the last year I have adhered to that practice.
But I cannot stand that someone made me feel the way she did. I don't want to feel angry and violent towards anyone. I don't want to feel bitter. And it crushes a part of my psyche to know she has that power. It is so easy to say (or be told) to "just let it go", but in practice it is very, very hard. But it is just that - a practice. And sometimes the scars people leave on us go deeper than we think.
I feel like now I understand how deep this scar she left goes. It was so easy to throw out all the pictures of us I came across while cleaning the basement. It is harder when people talk about her. It was almost unbearable to actually see her.
But I hope that knowledge can guard me in case this happens again. And it has taught me that I actually need a plan. I can't just daydream about, "Oh, well if I see her maybe I'll say this." I need to know that I will speak up, and not be afraid, or let her think I'm ashamed.
Next time, I will put the ball in her court, and she will have to choose how to react. Because I will not leave it like this, and I will not feel like I did yesterday. The person I have become is too good to let someone else drag me down like that again.