So, my best friend, you know the one who I don’t hang out with much at school, but who I’ve known forever and who hangs out with me on weekends and makes the best cubbies, and who my Mum and Dad really really like, and the one who knows everything about me? Yeah her, Maggie. She’s gone and done something really bad. Something I will never be happy about and never forgive her for… at least not for a long time…like a month or so… She’s decided to go to a new school! A really posh girls-only school that is about 30 minutes from our house which means she has to go on a bus, which means I won’t have anyone to walk with anymore, and it means she’ll be off meeting new friends and probably doing all sorts of cool things after school with them like horse riding and BMX riding and skiing, that is, if she gets home before dark even, because it will take her so long to get here and her new school finishes later than ours, maybe because they’re smarter and have to keep getting smarter by learning for longer…
I’m really annoyed. Almost angry.
And if I’m honest, really sad.
Why does she need to go to a girls-only school? I know she’s a girl, and she likes girly things, but she also loves camping and fishing and making cubbies and footy. Isn’t she going to be bored with just girls to play with? She said she got something called a scholarship, which is some kind of prize or something or other for being a smarty pants. And that because she got the scholarship she really ought to go, and it’s the only way her parents could afford for her to go there and so she can’t disappoint them, and anyway she really WANTS to go.
Doesn’t she care about me?
I’m going out to kick the footy. Really, really hard. That always helps when I feel those hot angry feelings inside.
And then I’m going to curl up on my bed in ‘child’s pose’ like I did when I was a baby. I learnt all about ‘child’s pose’ when we did yoga at school for sport last term – it’s supposed to calm your brain and feelings down, so I’ll give it a go.
I finally spoke with Mum about how I was feeling, because she knew something was wrong. It might have been the grumpy face and tears I tried to hide at the dinner table that gave me away. I told her how sad I was and that I thought Maggie just didn’t like me anymore, and that’s why she was moving schools. Mum gave me a big cuddle and let my tears fall. She says: “you always feel better after you let the sads out.” She also said that Maggie moving schools had nothing to do with me. She reminded me about ‘self-pity’ (something we’ve talked about before when I’ve been feeling really sorry for myself without a really good reason). She asked me to look at this ‘problem’ as actually a great opportunity for Maggie to go to really special school that would suit her and help her grow. It was not that she was rejecting me or our school, it was just the next life move for her. Just like when grown-ups change jobs.
Mum also said that Maggie was probably feeling pretty nervous about changing schools, so instead of making her feel bad about her choice, and making it all about me, that I should be happy for her and support her – because that’s what true friends do. And she reminded me that she wasn’t moving house too, so Maggie would still be close by to play on weekends or come for dinner after school if she wanted to.
Mum always knows how to make me feel better. I wish I learnt all this stuff about feelings a bit faster though, so I would stop having to feel bad when things go wrong. I guess that’s growing up though, hey?
(Anger, p.9, Rejection, p. 64, Self-pity, p. 71, Sadness, p. 70, – A for Attitude)