Truly, this time was joyous. I enjoyed every moment of the ceremony. One thing that I noticed was that the people who I called “dear” friends were not present. I tried hard not to think of it, but I started to wonder why do I even put so much emphasis for friendship when clearly it wasn’t being returned. Nevertheless, I ended up going out to celebrate with family. During this time, I kept reflecting on the word “friend”. My brother informed me about the importance of friendship and how people who love you will truly be there for you. I agreed. I ended up starting school in the fall. The class that I took was “Introduction to Occupational Therapy.” It was a hard class. I spent a lot of time in the library for projects and falling in love with the profession. Out of all of the people in the class, we found out it was only 28 seats that would be made available. The slots would be chosen from about 150 people who had taken the class within the last year and those that were taking the class after us. The application had to be put in at the beginning of the following year. I don’t know what made me so determined. I just dared to dream. When the beginning of the year begin, I ended up applying for the program. I prayed prior to entering. I had asked the Lord to help me to get into that program. However, weeks and weeks went by with no notification of making it into the program. I begin to get concerned that maybe it wasn’t for me. One night, I had a dream that I was back in elementary school. There were so many desks, and a lot of my childhood friends when they were little. The room only had 3 walls, so I got up and walked out of the classroom through the open wall. Being that I had previously wanted to be an elementary school teacher, I thought it was a sure sign from God that elementary school was the way to go. The time came for me to apply for scholarships and I went ahead and registered for it. My heart had been settled on the point that I was not making it into the program. At the end of that same week, as I was waiting for the information on the scholarship to come in, I checked the mail and found a letter from the college. I had been accepted into the program! I remember being so happy. It seemed that everything was falling into place. I had a job that would work around my schooling, and I had been accepted into the program of my dreams! Of course I announced it to my friends and family. When school started that year, I realized how much time would go into being in the program. There were many community events that we would be involved in, so a lot of my time that I wasn’t in school, I would be participating in those as well as homework, which would take up a lot of my time. At this time, one of my closest friends was pregnant. The tradition was to have a baby shower. I usually helped in the process and hosted them. However, this time, I was just too busy. I worked nights at the hospital from 7pm to 7am and then I had school in the mornings. To top it off, we had an event on the day of the baby shower. These events coupled with the fact that I was literally at work when she was home and was at home when she was at work (she worked day shift) placed a strain on the friendship. A few weeks before the shower, my birthday came up. I had a huge birthday party in which I invited she and all of my family. She declined this event. It begin to stand out to me that she NEVER was really available to celebrate anything with me as a friend. I had graduated that spring (she didn’t come). I had the party, she couldn’t come. There were so many times that I would have loved to have a friend to be there and for whatever reason she wasn’t available. On top of that, due to the fact that I wasn’t available for the planning of her event, it seemed that there were things being said against me, when really I would have done anything to be there for her. I tried to do everything I could to be a good friend to her, but it seemed that anything I did wasn’t enough. On top of that, I grew increasingly tired of going out of my way for people and always being deemed “the bad guy” when I couldn’t do exactly what they wanted me to do. I decided not to go to the shower, however I paid for the decorations and offered to send a gift. Apparently, this was the last straw. She completely distanced herself from me. I must admit, it hurt me. However hindsight is 20/20. Just like any relationship, once friendships end, you are able to see clearly. For most of my life, I have been the person who always goes out my way for people that I love. For whatever reason, people tend to walk away for various reasons that involve making me the enemy. I learned that year that God knows my love and support that I have given selflessly to people. There are people who I have in my life who have been friends for years, that I have never had any falling out with, who even if I see to this day, we will catch up and keep the friendship going like no time has ever passed between us. Then there are people who I once was extremely close to and our friendship ended abruptly and for whichever reason, we never talk again. I have personally learned that whoever God brings in your life in whatever season is there for their appointed time and exit whenever their season is up. I have talked to God about these situations and He has actually quieted me with the assurance that He knows all so no explanation is needed. Certain people in your life are NOT YOUR FRIENDS. The title of friendship is something that shouldn’t be given to people just because they work with you, or just because you have things in common with that person. I believe a friend comes in your life and never leaves.
As I learned and grew in the therapy field, I grew in other areas of my life and I thank God for so much change that happened this time in my life. My kids and I got closer, we begin to plan for “after graduation” and I begin o dream about days when the stresses of bills were no longer a problem. As we continued to grow, I stopped being concerned about what other people felt about me, and more on being the best parent that I could be for them.