I am going to pass on some cheesy age-old wisdom that I think every young adult needs to hear, and I especially need to internalize.
Here’s the real zinger…..
Not everyone in life is going to like you.
There will be jerk-wads left, right, and centre in life.
They can take the form of colleagues, classmates, acquaintances, ‘friends’ or otherwise.
And you know what? They will dislike you for absolutely no good reason.
They will target you no matter what you do. There is no use in being nice to them, because it will likely go unnoticed. They may disapprove of you from the minute you meet them, unfairly judging you and treating you like something gross stuck to the bottom of their shoe.
Please note: this post is NOT meant to make you paranoid about how many people may act cold to you over the course of your life.
I myself am one of those overly-sensitive souls who takes absolutely everything personally. A tricky comment from a supervisor, an accidental exclusion from a social event, a miscommunication from a friend. These little things bury holes in my mind, and my thoughts can spiral in some not-so-nice directions. When all those little occurrences build themselves up, it can really do a number on my self esteem.
Truthfully, when someone disrespects you in any way, that is a reflection of THEIR character – NOT yours.
I am slowly but surely learning to put all those stomach twisting situations in a box and keep on keeping on. It hasn’t been easy, in fact it’s taken more than a decade of learning how to let things roll off my back, like the odd duck that I am.
I was bullied a lot as a kid, and quite frankly, who wasn’t? Kids are really freaking mean! While it wasn’t fair, I was an easy target – a weird child who had no idea how to relate to peers my own age and cried at the drop of a hat, giving my teasers a lot of wind to fill their sails.
In middle school, the tormenting was still present (preteens are gossipy), but I was learning a lot about unconditional respect, loyalty, and love. You see, I was starting to band together with my “people”.
I started to bond with my brainiac boys, and together we were like a miniature-version of the Big Bang Theory crew (though I was, admittedly, a less attractive and brighter version of Penny).
In high school, I reunited with my best friends from kindergarten and our little familia was born. I got involved with youth activism and gained incredible friends and leadership skills through regional youth conferences, student council, and Ontario Youth Parliament.
For the first time in my life I felt like my quirks were an asset, and that people knew me for my heart and not for whether or not my clothes or slang was in style.
Then I left my little town behind and joined the big, bad world of post-secondary. I’ve met some incredible friends through Frosh week, residence life, classes, pub nights, socials, clubs and the ever-so-lovely eAmbassador crew. I found it easy to make interesting and meaningful friendships, because like-minded people just had a tendency to gravitate to one another.
This year I moved in with the most incredible girls, Ceilidh and Olivia. We went from being mostly strangers (drawn together by a desperate Facebook plea) to a little sisterhood, where whenever something happens, they’re probably the first ones I want to call. Trust me when I say these ladies have seen me at my worst (bed-head and morning breath, am I right?).
And after a lot of weird and hilarious dating experiences, I was even lucky enough to find a partner who sticks by me in my ridiculous life, when most people would bolt (or at the very least flinch).
These days, my dear friend Jasmin has coined a particular hashtag for me, which she loves to pull out whenever folks are being particularly atrocious…
Whenever I lose perspective and start to think the whole world is on my case and I’m clearly the most unlikeable and despicable human to roam the earth, I am reminded of the family I have built for myself.
At the end of the day, it’s not so much about the quantity of friends you have, but the quality of the company you keep. It’s better to have a few good apples than have your whole bushel spoiled by a few rotten ones, right?
I’m grateful for these good apples.
They are the ones I can call on when things feel out of control or I just want to share a night of laughs.
They are my cheerleaders when I lose momentum.
They are the ones who love me when I’m acting pretty damn unloveable.
If you’re reading this and having some particularly tricky people in your life – I promise that the new waves of your life will draw in your people.
These are the ones who will see your beauty, your intelligence, your passion, your humour, and your kindness and would not trade any bit of you for the world.
Those wormy folks are passing ships, but your true friends will be your anchors. They will remind you of all of your goodness when the rest of the world, including you, has a tough time seeing it.
And in the mean time?
Haters gonna hate. So grin and bear it. Smile and nod. Shake it off. Kill it with kindness.
Much love and DFTBA,
***thanks to all my rockstar friends and family out there, y’all are so golden ❤