Though I can’t say the solitude has no effect on me: I probably have more “blasts from the pasts” than the average preoccupied individual. Luckily for me, my entire life has been pretty smooth sailing; my biggest “hauntings” are four little words: “I should have said…”
The older I get, the more enthusiastic I am about calling it how I see it. I’ve found that honesty eliminates guesswork, saves time, and encourages reciprocal genuinity. It also repels the super-easily offended ones, who annoy me anyway.
Unfortunately, any attributes we may acquire with the passing of time cannot be redeemed retrospectively.
In case you didn’t know, I was home-schooled for eight years of my life; so when I attended a private school for the first time in seventh grade I was naïve, even for a new kid. Up until the first day of that school year, peer pressure was not something I had had to deal with, and as a result I was obliviously content with my baggy WalMart clothes and Pooh Bear backpack. (You think Heidi Klum wore Gucci to grade school? Come on.) Need I say more? Kids were kids (though I have to say, the overweight ones who feasted on the nicer, self-confident children to feed their own insecurity issues were especially little bitches). Technically I have forgiven them and in all actuality, I am in their debt: they not only made me stronger, they made me strong. And watching them watch me be happy --- while I watch them be the miserable, unsuccessful people that pathetic and insecure bullies are destined to be --- is just the icing on the cake.
I found one of said insecure bullies on Facebook and asked her to be my friend, assuming that people change over the course of a decade. Until recently when I was tipped off that she hadn’t. I could tell that she was still a bitch, and I practically had flashbacks right then and there.
And ohhh, I wanted to say something.
But there’s a dilemma. If you’ve ever seen the 90’s classic You’ve Got Mail, you may remember the part where Joe says something to Kathleen that sums the topic up quite well:
“I must warn you that when you finally have the pleasure of saying the thing you mean to say at the moment you mean to say it, remorse inevitably follows.”
It’s so true! If I don’t open my mouth, I risk experiencing random moments of “I should have”; and if I successfully zing them, I feel almost as though I have become what I demeaned them for being. I’m not a person who "lets things go" just with the passing of time unless they’ve been spoken, so this particular Catch 22 drives me a little crazy.Do I go to this girl (her name is Emily McLaughlin) and inform her of the pathetic individual that she is? Do I tell her that she confirms her own insecurity every time she opens her mouth, and ask her if it is a result of some early childhood hurt or just her weight problem? Do I point out the irony that she’s a fan of Taylor Swift, a person who was also picked on in middle school and wrote the song Mean for bullies just like Emily? (She's a creepishly huge fan, so as pathetic as it may seem, it'd actually be a stellar jab.)
Do I say these things and humiliate her?
I think not. I am both remorseful for Emily and everyone in the world like her. In her attempt to distract others from her own insecurities at the expense of an unsuspecting peer, she helped me become who I am today; someone who I feel very proud and lucky to be. She was tearing herself down to build me up. Ten years later I couldn't be happier, while my guess is that she will spend life as an ultimately unhappy, lonesome, and unsuccessful individual. So I pity her, and from the bottom of my heart I (implore her to burn that hideous dress she was wearing in her profile picture when we talked, and) thank her for making me a "fighter".
As far as dealing with the Catch 22 in everyday situations...I am still trying to figure that one out! =/