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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Be Here Now: Go Ahead, Don't Be My Friend Again

My first impulse is to say, This is all Cyndie's fault! Cyndie is the one who nudged me to start blogging in earnest, create a Twitter account and sign up for Facebook. While most of my recent forays into social media resulted in positive experiences, one in particular has propelled me back into a state of feeling that is reminiscent of my grade school, high school and college days.

You see, today I found out that a college friend of mine rejected my friend request on Facebook.

Taking a trip down memory lane, I know I was not the most popular girl in school. Upon contemplation, I'd say I probably fit best with the brains or the nerds. I definitely did not fit in with the athletes, to straight to be considered off-beat, wanted to be a thespian but didn't excel at drama, was in the choir but wouldn't consider myself a choir/band geek and definitely not a little Miss Perfect, though I had aspirations here too. Mind you, I had a few friends. I also had probably more than my fair share of teasing, especially in grade school. No, my formative years were not my time to peak, which I think is a good explanation for why some people seemed to breeze through the social part of school and others, like me, struggle.

RejectionImage by Frodrig via Flickr

Now I admit that I haven't always been the best friend. I have done some crazy, impulsive and stupid things. I can be stubborn and once I make up my mind it is hard to stop me. I am sure I have pissed off or turned off other people. But if we can all be real for a minute, we all have done things socially that we regretted immediately afterward. We all have awkward moments and have committed faux pas. We've all had our less than gracious dealings with other people.

I guess I got caught up in all the excitement of finding lost friends and didn't stop to consider there might be old friends who wouldn't be thrilled to be found by me. This whole incident certainly gave me pause. I guess I'll never know why she turned me down since she didn't reply with a Facebook message explaining her decision. I guess as easy as it is to find old friends and acquaintances using the Internet, it is just as easy to ignore them too.

Rather than let this take me back in time to my socially awkward school days, I think the lesson here is acceptance. It is O.K. if someone doesn't want to rekindle a friendship with me. It is O.K. for some relationships to remain in the past. It is O.K. if someone doesn't want to give me another chance at friendship. It is O.K. if not all my attempts at reconnecting with people from my past are successful.

The bottom line is that I am O.K. with myself no matter what other people think of me. I'm not going to stop putting myself out there and taking risks. So go ahead and reject my friend request. Just know that by turning me down, I think you are missing out on discovering who I am today. You might be surprised how I have become a person who learns from her mistakes, isn't afraid to to be wrong, is not so big that she can't make amends and is not so small that what you say or do makes her doubt herself.

Yes, I've got news for you--this is my time to peak when it comes to social relationships. So go ahead, don't be my friend again. I can take it.
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