On Turning 30.

Because I had such a great reponse to this post, and a few people asking me where it had gotten to (it was only pushed of the page to make room for the next, if you had scrolled down I promise you, it is still there) I have decided to give it a dedicated page, so that no one will lose it again!!!

As 30 looms in near future, getting closer by the minute I realise that I should have some words of wisdom to impart. I do not. Instead I have here in my hand a statement – to myself or the universe (I can not remember) which I wrote years ago and then stored in my box of forgotten things for fear of anyone ever finding out that such thoughts had ever resided in my mind. As the original intent of this blog was to overcome my fear of people actually reading anything I wrote, I think it is fitting that it ends up here, and, to further cross those boundaries that my fear has erected I will force myself to tell people about this post, in particular the people whom I have written about.

Someone recently said to me “I have grown up a lot since I was a stupid teenager…” and that is what this is all about. Growing up – I think.

Whether this reaches someone who was once under appreciated, or someone who does not appreciate what they have, or whether this simply serves as a holding point for this letter until my own children are old enough to read it will be worth it. For if it only teaches my children to appreciate the friends they have, it will have served much more of a purpose than it ever could have being stuck in my forgotten things box.

***********************

Isn’t it crazy the people who stick in your memory, the people who make an impact on your life, they are rarely the people you would have expected as a teenager. I recall faces and names quite readily, the conversations and catch phrases of my highschool years. I recall the people who hurt me, but surprisingly enough it was the people in the background of my world, the people I paid little notice to, or did not appreciate who now take the most prominent position in my mind.

I do not know when I realised it, and I have no clue as to the catalyst for my realisation, but I do know that there were people in my life who deserved more respect and gratitude than they ever received from me.

I suppose I was, like most other teenagers, a selfish brat. One who was more likely to put my own wants and need above others, and much to my embarrassment, one who put more time and effort into the newest crush, than the friends who stood behind me through all my crazy personality changes through the years. At the time I did believe that those crushes, or the kids that seemed to run the school with their popularity would be the bulk of my memories in my adult years, but now, I am surprised to find that their faces and names take a dim backseat to the faces and names of the ones who were there to support me unconditionally, the background loves of my life whom I believed were there to merely serve as a stepping stone for bigger and better things.

There are some who helped me once or twice, and upon figuring out my true motives left me to my own devices, and these people also deserve my gratitude, for after all, where would I have been without those helping hands, those friends that lied for me, those friends that advised me not to do what I was about to do. Who knows perhaps I would not even be here now. But, the people who I am truly in awe of, the people who I realise now should have been my top priority were the few that stood by me, my protectors, my support, my friends.

I never gave my friendship unconditionally, each friendship was gained and lost on the merits of whether they could be of use to me in the future. Except for one that is – one person who I loved to spend time with and who I had thought at the time would be there forever, yet, even they were eventually trodden into the dirt as all my other friendships were thanks in no small part to my tendency to bottom shelf friendships as each new fad took my fancy. I suppose even the best of friends tire of waiting for the return of the fickle heart, only to have them disappear again and again with each new craze. (This one lost friendship is my greatest regret, but is something I am still thinking of and as yet have come to no closure, so it can not be talked about). I always expected more from my friends, and they usually delivered, and now, I wonder why I didn’t realise it at the time, that these people would be the models upon who I would shape myself in years to come.

For years I wished I could apologise, and only just recently I have realised that wish was merely my selfish nature hanging on, hoping to alleviate me of any guilt. But now, all I want to do is acknowledge. Of course I am sorry that my actions were the case of much dissention between myself and my friends, sure I have guilt, but that is my cross to bear and no repenting will ever make it better.

But I need to acknowledge them, for they were who I have moulded myself to be, a support, a protector, a helper, a shoulder, but most importantly a friend. I have learnt what friendship really is, what it feels like to be friends with someone, merely for the pleasure of their friendship, and for those people whom I speak of, I thank for that.

Some may relate to this, others may realise that they are the people of whom I am speaking. If you are one of those – the unappreciated loyal, loving and supportive type – know this…

Your friends, the ones you support, may not realise it now, you may fall out of touch and you may never hear from them again, but trust me, somewhere ages and ages hence, they will realise how much they loved you, and you will be appreciated.


4 Responses to “On Turning 30.”

  1. Hey Alissa!

    Love, love, love your blog on this topic. It’s so important to reflect on what has been to make you appreciate what is. I hope that your writing helps other people to not only appreciate others as they have been in our lives, but to appreciate those people in their lives today, because you never know when you may be separated – either by distance, change, or death.

    As a side note: I look forward to turning thirty – though I know most of the people I grew up with despair at the thought. To me, it signifies the end of an awkward decade – one of mistakes, low self-confidence, conforming to society, pandering to everyone else’s needs instead of my own, and general youthful angst and misdirection. I don’t turn 30 until the end of August next year, but have decided to make that quantum leap, into the unknown of what I actually DO want in my life, a little earlier – I tell myself “in preparation”. In February I will be leaving my home town and setting off on the adventure of a lifetime. I’ve always felt that I never belonged anywhere (including in my own head, but that is another story entirely!), so in the meantime, I figured I would make myself useful to the world and do aid work, or volunteer work, until I found wherever it is I’m supposed to be. I’m starting off in Cambodia, volunteering at an orphanage and helping to teach at the monastery where children who can’t afford school go. And just for the record, I’m not a saint. I just figure that I may as well be useful and perhaps what I am “supposed to do” in this life will manifest itself. At least… I hope this will happen! And I refuse to make plans for my life past the three months that I’ll be in Cambodia – I want to give the universe an opportunity to jump in and reveal my course without my ego getting in the way. Scary… and exciting. Who knows where I’ll be for my 30th? But wherever it is, you can be sure that I’ll be welcoming in a new chapter of my life with as much excitement, gratitude and laughter as humanly possible!

    I hope your new decade brings you much love, happiness and success, as well as the well-deserved gifts of self-love, self-worth, and self-confidence, Alissa.

    Best of luck to you and your family,

    Raye

  2. Hey Alissa,

    Just read this and I am so proud of you! You have grown into a young woman full of promise and the words touched me so much. I still remember that day on biv when we lost you and you had an asthma attack and I had to call your parents to come out to get you. The feeling of dispair and loss that I felt because it was my responsibility was something I’d not wish upon anyone, and then the feeling of relief that washed over me when we finally found you…not so much the fact that I was off the hook as such, but the fact that we had found you. I can’t even explain that feeling. Scared the shit out of me, I tell you. Anyway, your writing has a reflective maturity and elegance about it that no one can ever take away from you because it is your essence, and you are one of the lucky ones that can express yourself with the written word. I can’t praise you highly enough Alissa, so I won’t even attempt to…

  3. I turn 30 in two days. I can identify with your topic.

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