(For the past four years, I’ve used Reverb10 prompts to give myself a question to answer every day of December. It’s a great way to reflect on the year and set goals for the future. I’ve kept my favorite prompts, added a few from other sources like Project Reverband created my own month-and-a-bit of questions.)
Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?
I was at a huge professional conference. My former boss was on stage in front of thousands, as the president of the organization. I was so excited to see her speak. And she gave a great speech, and thanked lots of people. But not me. I was conspicuously left out. Other people who had left the organization in the last year like I had were thanked. Other people who had left with less notice and greater drama. Other people who had been hard to deal with. They got thanked. But not me.
I was stunned for a second, then reminded myself that this was not the first time. She’d often forget to thank me, or mention me when introducing the staff. Or she’d remember me, but forget my role after talking at length about what others did. And in that moment I realized that all those years hoping she’d like me were wasted. She was never going to like me. She respected me, helped me in my job search a great deal, and worked well with me – but she never liked me. She remembered the people she liked. And she likes a mess. I’m not a mess, far from it. So she never liked me. Relied on me. Expected a great deal from me. But not liked.
People noticed I’d been left out. The rest of the conference people asked if there was bad blood between us, if she was angry at me for leaving. I’d smile and say far from it – I’d given lots of notice, I’d left on great terms, she’d been instrumental in my new fabulous job. But people get nervous, right? She was bound to forget someone. I’d smile and change the subject after that.
But I’d let her go. I’d let it go. Any expectation or hope of friendship was over. I don’t feel foolish about the whole thing, I just feel sad.