Today marks two years and a month of my big decision to leave Rhode Island and come to Virginia (September 24th, 2009). Today also is a week before the two-year anniversary of that move to Blacksburg (October 31st, 2009). Many people crossed my path in this short time period, but their effect on me has been life-changing. I am conscious of the difference of friends, acquaintances, and “I’m only nice to you because you work for so-and-so.” This post is a giant reflection on some of the thoughts that have been running through my head since Podcamp Boston 6.
The most bitter memories of the past two years: I have discovered how shallow some people can truly be. I have been able to see past the people who used me as gimmicks so they and their friends could have something to laugh at. I can see how mean and ungrateful people are when I raised over both $550 and $850 toward their medical bills by selling my personal yarn stash (I have yet to get a “thank you” from either). I have been the scapegoat for other’s unsuccessful projects.
When I first moved to Virginia, it was into a place without heat or cooling, broken windows, broken doors, rotting cupboards, and barely working appliances. I managed to stay happy even before I was lent a space heater (Thanks Charlie and Marty!) so my bunnies and I would not freeze to death. I ate frugal meals of oatmeal with raisins/craisins, heated-on-the-stove frozen peas, canned tuna, fried/boiled eggs, and an occasional steak (to keep my iron content normal). I rarely ate out and bought closeout-priced wine when I could afford it. I had to save up to order the Jeni’s Ice Creams that I bought for my 40th birthday.
At least the wonderful memories outweigh the horrible ones. No longer was I smothered in negativity. I discovered the real friends who were not afraid of seeing the ghosts I shunned. For the first time ever, I discovered how death can tear me apart, and how it made me stronger in its 3 occurrences. I discovered people who were not afraid to take a chance on my ideas. Better yet, I discovered my lifetime BFF.
So if you see me smiling and grinning this week, it is because in the past two years I have undergone life changes that many people could not imagine experiencing in decades of time. The fact that I survived the massively concentrated waves of prejudice while bathing in the sea of friendship is something I am proud of. Though I do not wish what I experienced on anyone, I do hope others think before treating others shabbily. =:8