I've had the strangest dreams the past few nights. Among the ones that I remember include one where I was back in high school, although it wasn't really my high school, and I was getting picked on by the head cheerleader, although it wasn't the real head cheerleader from my senior year because she was super cool. (I'm not sure why I assume I was a senior in this dream - or maybe its just because that one head cheerleader is the only one I remember.) Anyway, I did something I never did when I felt picked on in high school in this dream - I stood up for myself. I became that girl who did not give a flying f***, I got back in their faces, and I wasn't a pushover. Everything that, these days, I wish I had done back then. Of course, in my dream, that just made it worse, tons of other people started getting on me, and when I tried to stand up and say that they could harass the new girl all they wanted (I was not new when I was a senior, but whatever), they just drowned me out with their taunting. Then suddenly I was on the Rock Boat, and one of the a capella groups from my USNA days was there along with the men's glee club, and I was mad because my small group wasn't there, among other things, and this dream got even stranger.
The point is, I woke up troubled. We're always told that when you get picked on you should stand up for yourself. I've spent a lot of time thinking about some situations that I dealt with as far back as elementary school - the mean girl writing a note signed from the boy I liked telling me he liked me too and laughing when I realized it was from her, the girl in my 8th grade civics class who liked to regularly accuse me of copying her / being a poser when I ended up with the same brand of powder or style of shoe, the girls in my 2nd high school who made fun of me for coming to school in jeans, tshirts, and flip flops when they were all made up in tight jeans and heels. What if I had told them all, to use an expression my mother would approve of more, to go fly a kite? Would it have made it better? Or would it have made it worse? Honestly, it doesn't really matter, because everything in my life, the way it all happened, brought me to where I am now and the person that I am today. I'm still a little shy about conflict. (That's about the only thing I'm shy about, to be honest, even though when I take those personality tests I tend to come out more on the introverted side.) I'm no longer afraid to stand up for myself, though, even if its in a more passive way than getting back in someone's face.
I'm not sure why this dream bothered me as much as it did. Bothered isn't even really the right word, maybe just stuck with me. I'm not sure why it stuck with me so much. Maybe because it felt so real. I don't know. All I know is I'm glad I'm not in high school anymore. While people still suck, and always will, I'd rather deal with them as an adult, in my own way, comfortable in my own skin and understanding that life is too short to deal with other people's drama and BS.
I shared a similar thought process (the life's too short to deal with other people's BS part) with my college aged sister recently, and the way she handled it ended up teaching me a bit of a lesson. She was having issues with her roommate and suitemates basically being the type of girls she spent high school avoiding, and it was getting to a breaking point. I told her not to let them walk over her She called a meeting with their RA to discuss some things, and basically made it clear in her own way during the meeting that while she had a perfect opportunity to get them in trouble for a variety of things, she wasn't going to do it - she said just enough to address the issues without actually getting them in trouble. And funny thing, the passive confrontation worked - things were great with them for the rest of the semester. They even decorated her room for her birthday! I wish I had things figured out the way she does when I was her age.
So yeah, I think the point of this post is that life is too short for other people's garbage and drama. It took me until my mid-20's to really learn the value of deleting people from my life. Do I still wonder about some of them? Sure. But is my life much easier without most of them? You bet it is. How does this tie back to the dream? I don't think it does, but I'm OK with that. What good is a blog if it can't be a bit rambly sometimes!