Long Over Due

~Hey Family! I pray this week has made you realize how much your presence impacts others’ lives. It did just that for me. This journey will definitely be one of the most emotional ones yet. It honestly is long overdue though…

Before we get started, I’ve reached out to the person involved in this journey. I always said I would never ask permission to write my truth, however, this is a sensitive subject. She has given me permission to openly and truthfully discuss this time of our lives. Ready to explore? Indulge and Enjoy!~

I hurt you… I hurt you before I even had a chance to know you… I remember the day so vividly. The first fire drill of Sophomore year. You told me I looked like a cute dinosaur. You even referenced the fictional Barney character Baby Bop. (Years later, you told me we had been joking in the class prior, and I believe you, I just can’t remember the conversation.)

Baby Bop… I felt like you were attacking my physical appearance. I assumed because you transferred in from another school, you were trying to “make a name for yourself.” I remember vowing to make you cry every day for the rest of our high school career. But, I didn’t realize how impactful high school is on the rest of our lives…

I embarrassed you… I took a class assignment, in Religion class nonetheless, to air out a bunch of rumors I heard about you. If creating a PowerPoint wasn’t hurtful enough, I and, two other individuals presented it to the entire class. Laughing and looking in your direction the whole time.

I did everything I could, to assassinate your character… I mean, I can’t even remember all of the terrible things I said about you. The rumors I would hear through the grapevine and make sure they were continued. The hate, I felt for you… The hate, I felt for me…

After a year and a half (maybe a little longer), something in me clicked. I remember pulling you aside and giving you a generic apology. There was no explanation… No conversation… No ownership… Just I’m sorry.

The revelation that hit me this week, on the 10-year anniversary of the second month of senior year, is I still owe you an apology. You see, I apologized privately for a public crime. I ruined parts of high school for you and whispered sorry… Well, my beautiful friend (Yes ya’ll, after all this she accepted me as her friend, and still does!), this is the apology you deserved.

I am sorry… does not begin to remove the damage I inflicted on you. I’m sorry… cannot bring back the precious high school moments, that ended up being not so precious, because of me. I’m sorry… will not dry up the tears you shed, wondering why I hated you so much. There is nothing, NOTHING IN THIS WORLD, I could say to reverse the pain I’ve caused you, however, I pray, my sorry brings you just a little peace…

You didn’t deserve what I put you through. You are so beautiful, loving and intelligent! And, I promise, you were all of these things back then. Your confidence infuriated me. Your beauty intimidated me. Your bubbly, outgoing personality mocked my desires for me. You were perfect in my opinion, and you still are. I envied you.

When you compared me to Baby Bop, it destroyed the last seed of confidence I had. Because you didn’t know of my low self-esteem, you walked away unphased. That was the moment I chose to hate you. And no, none of this is me saying my actions were your fault. This is just how unhealthy my thought process was. No explanation I give will justify the words/actions I targeted you with, however, I pray, my explanation brings you relief.

What I need you to know is, you are one of the strongest women I know! There are high schoolers killing themselves to get away from their bullies. Not only did you fight through my tormenting, but you also excepted me as your friend once I stopped. You have never thrown any of my actions in my face. Your friendship is the definition of forgiveness. Recently, you said something that broke my heart… Your exact words were, “I wish I could see what you see, but thanks.” Allow me to tell you just a little of what I see…

Your smile is radiant, and it lights up every room you walk into (ALWAYS HAS). You are so ambitious! I remember when we were getting laid off at work. There was this specific job you wanted and you refused to accept any other offer. Guess what, you got it! You’re a wonderful mother!! The way you have taken on motherhood is so amazing to watch! You’ve exhibited an abundance of grace, in your new life journey!

To say, “I’m proud of you,” would begin to express my feelings towards you. I respect you! I appreciate you! I admire you! I am grateful for you! And, I cherish you! Keep shining bright, beautiful!

So often, we make the ugliest decisions, very publicly. When we realize how wrong we really are, we shoot a text and apologize, for our ugly behavior. Here’s the thing, the party we hurt deserved the same apology as the pain we delivered.

In a perfect world, none of this should have happened, but it did. I shouldn’t have been a bully, but I was. Because I couldn’t reverse my words and actions, being fully transparent, I should have called a pep rally to the auditorium, called her on stage, and apologized for my actions, in front of the entire school. But, I was a coward back then. For me, over 10 years later, this is the next best thing.

Allow me to be clear, I don’t know if she even thinks about the events of high school. I do, which is why we have explored this. I want everyone to take a few points from this journey:

Watch what you say.

Think before you speak.

Fix your insecurities.

And, own your words and actions (good and bad).

I love you all beyond belief!

As always, feel free to ask questions and/or leave feedback in the comments section.

(All new journeys will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.