To everyone I’ve ever held a grudge against and everyone who has ever held a grudge against me; to everyone I’ve ever pissed off and everyone who has ever pissed me off; to enemies, frenemies and people I never gave the time of day:
I’m not mad at you.
I know all evidence says otherwise, but I actually don’t have a problem with you.
This isn’t to say that I never have. On the contrary, I probably have taken issue with you and you probably have taken issue with me.
Maybe you spread some stupid rumor, badmouthed someone I cared about, or kept up some annoying habit. Maybe I acted like a know-it-all, cursed you out over something stupid, or talked at length about something you don’t care about. Maybe we just never acknowledged each other as people.
Whatever the case may be, I’ve come to terms with the fact that you’re an actual person. How, you might ask? Well, you see, I’m regularly reminded of my own social snafus. After hearing the same stories time and again, it eventually hit me that these small (and, I admit, painful) interactions are all I am to you.
That’s all you have to go on, and, honestly, it isn’t much.
So it only makes sense that there’s more to you than I think.
I’m not suggesting that we’ve been best friends waiting to happen. I just think that, if the feeling’s mutual, we could manage to give a damn about each other.
I don’t actually care about what you did in middle school or I did in high school. It’s not like we killed anyone. We’ve gone our separate ways. I think we can forgive each other for being hormonal nincompoops.
If I somehow managed to hurt you beyond typical high school drama, we have all the more reason to discuss, to forgive.
Regardless, we’re on different paths traveling different ways. Gossiping does neither of us any good. It’s safe to say that any hurt we’ve caused each other, whether malicious or ignorant, can be forgiven. Note, forgiveness isn’t ignoring our history. It’s us acknowledging that we screwed up, yet finding meaning in our shared past and our diverging futures.
When I scroll through my Facebook feed, I learn more about you and other less-than-friendly acquaintances than I ever did through conversation. Given what I’m learning, I’m surprised that we didn’t get along to some extent.
I actually want to get to know you, if only for an afternoon. There’s a person there that I never took the time to understand.
And I’m sorry.
I don’t expect I’ll get to know you in any meaningful way, but I’d like you to know that if we run into each other at the grocery store, you will be more important than the canned beans in my cart. I genuinely want to know how your life is going.
Even if I don’t like you, even if you don’t like me, we can love each other.
So remember, even if you’re nearing rock bottom, I care about you, my high school combatants, more than I care about beans.
Much love, and best wishes on whatever life sends your way.
- MeP.S. To the classmates and co-workers I’ve crossed in my first year of undergrad--I’ll feel the same way about you in a few years.