Saturday, March 5, 2011

We Need Not Take Everything So Seriously (Part 1)

Maybe, if I just keep chasing them around in circles they’ll want to be my friend.
At least, that’s what I thought. 
I was in the third grade and I was new to my hometown and my school. I didn’t know anyone. Friends didn’t come by me easily because I didn’t talk to anyone. I was too shy and too afraid of what they would think if I did speak. 
When I moved to Southern California it was between my second and third grade year. I honestly didn’t believe that my friends, or the people I believed were my friends, didn’t live near me anymore. 
“Mommy, when are they going to take their masks off?” I asked my Mom about a year after the move. I was referring to my new friends who weren’t anything like the friends I had left behind, but I was certain they’d show their faces soon. Oh, the amazing imagination of a child! 
Then, I started to meet people. Popular people. Pretty people. Mostly, they reminded me of my old friends.
This is probably when the me that I am now first started to emerge. I remember going to some Scholastic book sale in the library and a girl didn’t have any money. I did. So, I let her go around the store and buy whatever she wanted. At the end of the little book outing, I spent $80.00 of my allowance money. I never got it paid back. 
That was my first lesson in realizing that your friends can’t be bought. I didn’t feel the joy in giving then. I felt let down. 
That same year, I remember trying to be friends with a girl that I thought was a lot like me. She was studious, and quiet, and seemed reserved, but friendly. I couldn’t figure her out, though. 
I called a family friend on the phone, who used to be my babysitter. She would call me, “Little Annie Petersen.” And, still calls me that to this day (makes being a 30-something feel like being a 3-year-old-something sometimes, but a fantastic thing none-the-less). 
“Listen, Annie,” she said. “You need not take everything so seriously.” 

To be continued... 

1 comment:

  1. annie, this really spoke to me. i'm a recovering friendaholic and it's been a hard pill to swallow that friends can't be bought or bribed or anything else. they just have to like me for me.


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