No one ever really leaves their school days behind. We graduate older and somewhat wiser than when we entered, but carry with us personalities and associated baggage formed during that time.
The teenage years are a crucible in which we are shaped. Whether it is a good thing that this happens in school is a debate for another day. It just is.
Sadly, some of us, me included, could be horrible people during those days. Just absolutely wretched. Worst of all, we could be wretched to people we considered friends in order to acquire status in the eyes of people who were really also kind of horrible.
That’s right: I had good friends I threw under he bus, on more than one occasion. Because I could be kind of an asshole when I was younger.
More than “could be.” I kind of was.
It’s shameful to think about, but less embarrassing. Age gives perspective, and moments like these are why we are able to learn and grow.
But man, I’d love to have some of those years back.
I thought of this particular individual as I filled out my application for a security clearance for work. A part of the application involved listing the names and contact information of those who have known you for a certain amount of years.
“Ah, my friend [NAME WITHHELD] would be perfect!” But then two thoughts came to mind:
- Would he actually respond, or even give me a positive reference?
- Can I truthfully consider this person a “friend”? Does he?
The answer to question 1 is unknowable. But I know the answer to question 2 is an unequivocal “no.” Continue reading “Confessions of a Bad Friend”