It would be nice to think that since I was 14, times have changed. Relationships have become more sophisticated. Females less cruel. Skins thicker. Instincts more developed. But there seems to be an element of that afternoon in everything that’s happened to me since. All my romantic stories are a scrambled version of that first one. –High Fidelity

I think- up until about age 25, we’re all about making friends, (influencing people?) We want a fanbase, and we want it now. We strive to become people of great network connecting-dom. We want synergy. I think, someday, it happens where you wake up and decide that you’re really sick and tired of bowing down to get what you want. We do it at work, we do it at home, and we do it with friends. I think it’s gotten to the point where our daily lives are a well-choreographed tiptoe. We dare not set our foot down. We know we have to gracefully bow in some areas- but we want so much to get off our knees in others.

I see this at work. A coworker recently came by my desk. She’s a good friend- but she also always flips through the papers on my desk to get an ‘inside’ scoop of what’s going on. Today, I was blessed with lawsuit, HIPPA and other information that had to stay under the radar so I looked at her, apologized profusely and said it had to remain private. She stomped.  I did the mature thing, I sent her an email stating, ‘D- I’m sorry, but when it’s ____ or _____ I can’t share access to the files. I hope you understand.” No response.

This is just one, stupid example how I feel like many times- we’re at each other’s mercy. I also, think this is a female thing. If we were dudes? I would have said, “stop looking at my stuff.” I would have then suggest we have a dual-arm-farting-contest. We’d smirk and make up over discussing racecars or beer. Something.. dude-ly.

I think there comes a time- when in our personal life? We realize all the the bullshit of corporate America, and our families that can’t be sloughed off as easily as our chosen, personal relationships. And maybe- that’s the last part of the 20-something growing up experience.

We let go of our families. We took on huge, financial, debt from tuition and bad choices, and we started seeing ourselves take responsibility in strange and new ways. Suddenly, we’re accepting what we know we have to take, and we’re not taking what we know we aren’t supposed to accept. We stop asking our girlfriends, “He said he still wants to date, not exclusively, that he wants to see me maybe a couple times a month, and he’s trying to figure himself out.” We have become that girlfriend, and before those words come out of our mouths? We’re suddenly shaking our head.

It’s happened. I am my own loofah sponge. I’m suddenly able to make strange choices that I haven’t been before, although- to the situation’s benefit, I had a trial run about 2 months ago.

Today I received an email from my ex-fiance, (you know the one who slept with someone else in the wedding present we just bought.) It said, “Hi Sweetheart. I know you are sad and miss me, but try to smile.” (There are no words for that astonishing amount of self-entitlement, right?)

The last part of growing up- is the hardest. It’s learning to let go. It’s a constant struggle. You don’t let go in a moment and expect that moment to satisfy your need to move on. It’s a choice- everyday. You learn to stop feeling like you have to own every emotion that everyone else has. People will leave me. People will come to my desk and stomp off. People will die, and bad things will happen. You learn to let go- most of all, of the need to understand, “why.”