Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Life Lessons Learned the Hard Way

A lot has happened in the past 7 or 8 months. Things I could not foresee. Things that, if you had told me they were going to happen, I would have said, "yeah right," and laughed. But also, things that I think have made me a better person. I was pruned, if you will.

It's amazing what you have to go through to learn who your true friends are. During a weird and tough time of my life, I had friends at work totally ditch me and throw me under the bus. To add insult to injury, they didn't hesitate to keep their opinions to themselves so now, people who I don't even know that well, give me the cold shoulder. Other friends who I thought had my back and whom I confided in were telling the first people what I was saying all the while pretending they felt my pain. I felt so betrayed and so alone. What sucks more is that I have to see these people every day. And it's been a long journey figuring out how to deal with this mess, loss of trust, loss of friendships, disloyalty, backstabbing and being totally ignored by people who I thought were friends and people who I sat right next to 40 hours a week.

But, all things work out for the good right? Right. Because through this I have learned SO much.

I have learned that it's totally unfair to form concrete and unwavering opinions about people when you don't really know them, especially if your experience with that person is just what someone else tells you. We have no idea what people's stories are. We might think we know people because we see them 5 days a week but what is going on in their personal lives that we don't know about? I know it's lame to bring your personal problems to work and be rude to people who have nothing to do with whatever has made you upset, but sometimes life is just that overwhelming and you can't help but be distracted, withdrawn or impersonal with people. Maybe, rather than judging someone, be there for them. Tell them you are there to listen if they need it. Or just be kind. And for goodness sake, don't fuel rumors or go around telling people that "Suzie is such a mean person." When I needed a friend, my friends bailed on me and made false judgements about me rather than asking me what was up. It sucked but because of this, I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, stick up for those people who are being "picked on," because I know what it feels like now. And it sucks. And no one deserves to be treated so poorly.

I have also learned that if one of your closest friends is someone who is quick to tell you someone else's secrets or pretends to genuinely care about people to get information and then tell other people what they've learned, that friend will do the same thing to you - pretend to care about you to get information and then tell your secrets. I should have seen that coming. I am MUCH more cautious about what I tell people now and who I tell stuff to.

Another thing I've learned through this is who my real friends are. And what a breath of fresh air they have been. It's so awesome to have friends who are genuine, fun, and who really, really care. I think that I will learn to be a better friend because of this, too.

Finally, I am in the processes of learning to care a lot less about what others think of me and be more concerned about being myself, sticking to my morals and convictions, and getting to know some really nice and genuine people I work with.


PG+E said...

Love you, Jess!

I know exactly what you're talking about ... and it is so, so true about friends like that at work. I learned that the hard way, too. I hope God continues to bless you with AWESOME friends!

And don't forget ... I always got your back, even from here in CA:)

Heather said...

Jess, I'm so sorry you've had such a tough time at work. I honestly can't say I've had any lengthy experience like this--maybe at a very part-time job while in college. But 40 hours a week dealing with this... YUCK!

I'm glad you are able to recognize the lessons you've learned through all this. I guess maybe in some small way, it makes it SOMEWHAT worthwhile? Although, it really stinks when you're in the middle of it.

Praying that you'll maybe find some "diamond in the rough" friend who will have your back at work. Maybe under a hard, seeming uncaring exterior you'll be able to chip away at the shell and find a beautiful friendship inside. This is my prayer for you! Hang in there! I believe your heart is in the right place!

inked33 said...

i'm proud of you :) pruning is exactly the right term. truth hurts sometimes, but you are right... We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28 ...
true. true.
love you.

Anonymous said...

Quantum leap for you. Not everyone gets to learn this, even after 60-plus years.