Lately every time I get on social media I am bombarded with pictures of people from high school catching up. I try my hardest to be one of those “Oh how nice they stayed in touch” kinds of people but at the end of the day I am not. Somewhere in the last few years I suppose I turned bitter. I had a great high school experience. I got good grades, participated in extracurricular activities, had friends, and even a serious relationship. I have nothing to complain about. It’s what happened after high school that turned me bitter.
For me there were two stages to my college/after high school life. The first stage was two years of community college. It took a long time for me to come to terms with the fact that going to community college did not make me less of a person (a topic for another day) but the reality is that I was the only one of my friends who did not go away to college. I couldn’t relate to them and they couldn’t relate to me. Despite this, I still considered these people I could go to for anything.
Next begins stage two. About a week before I was supposed to move away for college I found out my dad had cancer. As you can imagine this was the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with and understandably when I would need my friends the most. I think I physically told a total of three of my high school friends about my dad. However in a world of social media everyone sees everything. I cannot remember any of them ever asking how he was doing or even giving a supportive like on Facebook. We received the cancer diagnosis and suddenly all I heard was radio silence from friends.
I made a conscious decision that people who do not ask me about my dad having cancer are not people I should consider friends. At first this decision was easy; all I had to do was stop talking to them. Over time it got more complicated. I have a hard time looking back on a supposedly “great high school experience” with positive feelings because the people who made that such a great experience no longer mean the same thing to me. So many people find forever friends in high school and I unfortunately did not. Hence the bitterness. Hence my strong dislike for everyone’s catching up with friends social media posts. Is my life ruined because these friendships did not last? Of course not, but it does make me stop and think about what it truly means to be a friend.