Good friends have always made a difference in my life. Having friends around me, friends who aren't looking for anything in return except to be a friend, makes everyday enjoyable, and bearable, and full of richness.
The first time I felt alone, when I didn't have any friends, happened in Jr. High School. I don't know what I did, or the reason behind this, but one day, I came to school and quickly realized I didn't have any friends anymore. I was shunned, and shunned hard.
Nobody talked to me anymore. People turned their backs on me when I approached them. No seats were saved at the lunch table. No smiles were shared in the hallways between classes. I was destroyed. Crushed. Alone.
I ate my lunch in the school bathroom, then went to the library and hid between bookshelves until the bell signaled the start of another class. I walked home as quickly as possible after school, so I wouldn't bump into anyone. I arrived at school right before the first bell, too late to dwell on the fact that I didn't get to enjoy the socialization that everyone else was a part of. I sat alone at my classroom desks, surrounded by people, but very much an outcast.
I constantly asked myself "What did I do wrong?" "Why are people treating me this way?" I still don't know the answer. It still hurts.
One day, weeks or months later, my friends decided I was ok again, and they were suddenly friendly again. I was accepted again. But the sting never went away.
I decided that I wouldn't ever, EVER, treat anyone that way. I would like a person for who they were. I would befriend the new people in class. I would invite the funny-looking girl over to my house afterschool. I would sit by the lonely person in the cafeteria. I wouldn't participate in the ugly gossip and behavior that Jr. High and High School are so well known for.
I got through school just fine. I learned to be "who I am" without apologizingfor it. It's why I named my blog Just Because I Am Me I don't have to try to change who I am, for anybody. I learned that a true friend sticks around through thick and thin. I learned that I can be a friend to many, without the restriction of who is considered popular, or how they dress, or what their talents are, or who they are dating, or not dating, or whether they walk to school or ride a bus. I hated cliques. Still do.
This mentality is still with me today. Even though I'm not in Jr. High anymore, I still get anxious that I won't have friends. In all my moves, I still long for and desire friendship, above anything else. Until I have friends, I don't feel settled in an area yet. As outgoing as I may seem, I am still afraid of getting hurt.
The biggest thing I tell my kids, almost everyday, is to be a friend to all. It doesn't matter what they look like, or what other people say about them. Be a friend. Please be a friend. Nobody wants to feel alone.
Thank you to all my friends. Because of the many states we have lived, I have many friends scattered around. I deeply appreciate your friendship; your advice; your love; your constancy; your dependability. I hope you know how much I love you and thank you for being my friend.