It has been over a year since I moved back to my “Itty Bitty” hometown in Beaver County, Pa. Upon moving back I was smacked with many blasts from the past. It was great seeing my old friends and going to our old hangouts. Along with walking back into the comfort zone, I was also faced with some people that I didn’t see eye to eye with in my younger and wilder years. Now I put that as pleasant as possible. Hate is a strong word, I rarely use it now unless I am referring to ketchup stains in bens overalls or the million stink bugs swarming my house. But when I lived here before I used the word Hate quite often and I meant it then.
I was not always the nicest person and there were many days when I walked the halls in high school with a target on my back. In hind sight, I can see how ridiculous and petty most of the disputes were. We were young kids. We didn’t even know who WE were let alone our peers. So if we didn’t know eachother, then how can we know we didn’t like each other?
There are a handful of people that hurt me as I was younger; some with their fists and other with thier harsh and often untrue words. Due to the wonders of Facebook and the unending gossip trend in this town, I have been made well aware of all the whereabouts of most of these people. The younger and wilder Sheila would have gained a bit of humor and pleasure out of the downfall of some of my previous offenders. However, I can honestly say that I don’t feel that way. The girl that “stole” my boyfriend when I was 16….she is a struggling single mother. I wouldn’t say that I am “struggling” but as another mother I can relate to how tough it is to raise a child without appropriate participation from the child’s father. I genuinely have compassion for her and her situation. I am not just becoming some old softy. True I do cry a lot watching A&E specials, but I think the suddenly warmer climate in my heart could be real maturity coming through.
I am not proud of the way I treated all the people in my life. Sometimes I swear that my freakishly sharp memory is more of a curse than a blessing. I don’t enjoy the burden of regret that I have carried for this long. Mama always told me to just let it go. Love my friends and let LIFE take care of the rest. Eventually I learned the hard way to heed her words of wisdom and in turn my life has a lot more peace. However, I still do pray for those that didn’t get treated so well by LIFE. I also pray that they can also find peace through the act of forgiveness.