Out of the corner of my eye, I see them. Someone I haven’t talked to or heard from in a long time.
Maybe it’s a few rows over at a meeting, or checking out at the grocery store, or even across the field. We share a quick hello or nod.
I think to myself, wow, it’s been a while. They haven’t posted much lately. I scan through social media only to find…I’ve been blocked. Blocked!
There was a time in my life that this discovery would have consumed me. No matter who it was that blocked me, whether we were ever close or got along well or not, it would set me on a spinning path of questions…what did I do? What didn’t I do? Was it something I said? Why don’t they like me?!?!? In stereo, on repeat, for hours on end.
Thankfully now I’ve realized that being universally liked isn’t possible or even a worthy goal. There will always be people who don’t like me, my choices, or how I do things. There are people who won’t want to be connected to me. And that’s ok. It’s not a ringing indictment of who I am or what I do or don’t do. People come and go. Some connections work well and others are temporary. It is what it is.
I’ve also learned to accept that in some cases, I am not just unliked. I am actually the villain in someone else’s story. I’ve made mistakes and bad decisions. I’ve had bad days and dumped my grouchiness on others. People have gotten hurt along the way. Even if I didn’t mean to, there are people who don’t remember the chapters we shared fondly.
But on the flip side of that, I am also the heroine of sorts in some people’s stories. I am the comic relief to others. I am the (relatively) reliable narrator, the plot twist, and these days I may be the character who develops in surprising or unexpected ways.
At this point, I am grateful for the heroes and the villains in my own story. I realize that I have some control over who gets speaking roles in my life and who needs to just be a minor character. I’m grateful for growing up enough to know that being written out of someone else’s story isn’t always the worst thing that could happen. I have my own next chapters to write. What about you?