>> Monday, November 03, 2008
We were back in my hometown this past weekend for a wedding reception and stayed at a chain hotel. As I was both checking in and leaving I recognized a girl - ok, she's now a woman- who I was rivals with during my late teen years.
She was a few years older than me and we were both dating the same guy. Of course he denied that he was seeing both of us and neither of us was smart enough (or confident enough or something) to tell him to take a hike (or something in much stronger language).
I remember one weekend when she had three of her friends jump me at a street dance (it's a small town). They were large girls and I weighed about 100 pounds at the time. I can barely remember crawling away and collapsing in the street where someone took pity on me and took me home.
You could say that we hated each other with a passion.
We both moved on, thankfully. I moved away and she stayed. She remained involved with the guy for quite a few more years and had 2 or 3 kids with him. They never married and I heard that he continued to treat her badly and didn't change his habits of dating.
When I saw this woman I had a couple of thoughts...
First I felt pity for her as she was quite beautiful when she was young and you can see that her life has been rough. And because I know she trained as a cosmetologist I was sad to see that she is now cleaning hotel rooms, which is a thankless job.
Then I thought, "It's an honest living and nothing to be ashamed of" as there are many people who see that as beneath them.
Then I realized just how much I have changed, through my belief in God. At one time I would have gloated about this. Now I can look at her and, though I feel pity for what I know she's been through, I can be impressed by her strength to move on and do what she needs to do to survive.
And I thank God for taking me from there because that is what my life could have been had He not given me the strength to leave.