It has taken me 30 years to figure out who I want to be.
It has taken me 30 years to figure out that I get to choose who my friends are.
It has taken me 30 years to figure out that I don't need everyone to like me.
I have spent a long time in a love/hate relationship with my jobs. I have finally learned the difference between taking pride in my job and working hard and taking my job way, way too seriously. I think it's important to take my job seriously to a point, but I was doing it to a fault. I was sacrificing the important "people" relationships. I finally took a job and decided that I was going to enjoy my work, enjoy my coworkers, and enjoy the patients. Trying to do the best that I could and let the rest just slide off my back like water off a duck. This time around at work I am loving it, other than the inevitable babysitter dilemmas.
I am not sure where my need to be liked by everyone comes from. I am going to say it comes from my mom. She too came to the same realization that I did, but not until after I learned this from her. I have had a lot of friends who were no good and I couldn't reach my full potential as a person. I have finally realized that just because someone is nice to me and wants to be friends, doesn't mean that I have to reciprocate. Therefore, I get to choose my friends. It's very liberating to feel this way. It's also very liberating to understand that just because I want to be friends with someone and they don't... well, oh well. That's ok.
I love facebook.com. I have been able to get back in contact with old friends that due to life I have lost track of. Most of them that I have lost contact with were good friends to me and I never appreciated it. Now that I am older and I know who I want to be, I definitely appreciate them and what they have to offer me as a person.
There is a fine line between not caring what people think of you and being obtuse and obnoxious about it. I think the first comes when you learn to love yourself and learn to be you and be respectful at the same time. The other happens either when you get old or when you are a combative teenager.
I normally have a very high learning curve... I feel that I have spent years and years making the same mistakes over and over. I have the social learning curve of an F student. It's slow and hard and it's been a long process but I am learning and really enjoying life.
I will give credit where it's due in this learning process. My husband, who wanted to be a sociology major until he figured he couldn't get a job, has taught me a great deal. Linus has taught me a great deal also. I have also learned to be a morning person to an extent. That, my friends, is a great feat.