Thursday, April 16, 2015

     People think retirement is a dream-come-true. For many, I imagine this is so. For me, however, although I was ready, my heart was not in it. I lived for my career as a high school teacher, and nine years after leaving the classroom, I can honestly say I still miss it. I have re-invented myself numerous times, and only recently have I found a niche that might come close to giving me the joy and fulfillment I had in the classroom. The good news is that, thanks to face book, I can watch my former students’ lives unfold before my eyes, and that gives me great pride. Some have married, had children, succeeded in their careers, and a few have become teachers, and that gives me great hope for the future. 

     One of the items on my bucket list was to write a book. I had no illusions of it becoming a best seller (good thing); I just wanted to hold it in my hand, see my name on it and be able to say, “I wrote a book.” It doesn’t matter that I spent $1000 to have it self-published and only sold 250 copies. It doesn’t matter that some people bought it just because they are my friends; what matters is, I did it. Actually, I wrote two and am thinking about writing a third. Three is my lucky number, and trilogies seem to be more popular than quadrilogies. I even have the title ready, but for now, I am using my two volumes of humorous essays as resources for upcoming blogs. In the next few weeks, I will be writing letters to people from my past who influenced me in various ways. Hopefully, you will take away a lesson, a moral, a “ya-got-that-right” or simply a chuckle. 

Letter Number 1: First Draft

Dear Toxic Friend:

I have been listening to you tell me for years how perfect you are, how perfect your life is. If this is really true, and I highly doubt it can be this perfect, I am happy for you. If this is not true, I wonder why you feel that you must label everything with “I’m so lucky.” Are you trying to convince me or yourself? I find that when everything you tell me, even sad or stressful things, are spun with such superlatives, I walk away feeling less than. I am not less than; I am human. When bad things happen, I get angry and sad. When I am bored, I’m not afraid to say, “I’m bored.” When things are good, I don’t brag about them; I feel grateful, but I don’t need to flaunt my appreciation. 

You are a toxic friend to me, and I must let you go. There. I feel better now.

Letter Number 1:  Short Version

You piss me off. Go away.