Last night I ran into an old friend at a theatre here in Santa Monica. I hadn't seen or talked to this person for years and I wasn't sure what type of greeting I would receive when I said hello, but I surely wasn't expecting what I did receive. In a matter of seconds his eyes showed a glimpse of familiarity as they lit up when he first saw me, and then before I could take a breath, I became non-existent in those same eyes.
As I headed home to the other side of town emotions took over my being. You see, a decade ago things were really good with this friend. We were happy together. Then in a blink of an eye, everything changed. I had found myself victim to a stalker, a woman who decided one day she wanted my life and set out to steal my identity. For two years she wreaked havoc on my life, and according to the police, since she hadn't physically threatened me, there was nothing they could do. She went on a rampage hacking into my email accounts, capturing my personal photographs and then setting up phony accounts using my information to target those closest to me. One of those people was the friend I saw last night. Although I pleaded my innocence, he chose to believe the 'gossip' one finds these days on the internet. In fact, he wasn't the only one who turned their back on me back then. It was an awakening of sorts I guess you could say to learn who truly were my friends.
The emotions that appeared last night ranged from sadness, disappointment to anger and disbelief. How could someone who meant so much to me for so many years turn his back on me? The bus that was supposed to take me home last night never came and as the time passed sitting on the bench I asked question after question. What did I do to deserve this? Why after ALL these years would God bring us together only to cause more pain? As I allowed the feelings and emotions to process, I looked back at my life, but mostly this last year in LA. I realized how much I had changed, how much I had grown, and quite honestly, how I had simply outgrown certain people, my friend being one of them.
I finally caught the bus and continued to try to make sense of the evening. I smiled at the irony of it all. The performance I went to see was Green Light One Acts, four short plays written and directed by LA women. It was spectacular. The cast was amazing and it was a diverse selection ranging from serious drama to quirky comedy. I loved each one. One in particular called 'Femme Noir' was about a playboy who set out to hire a female private investigator to help solve a murder, his own he claimed. Apparently he had rubbed some people the wrong way and now they wanted his head. It turned out, the private detective herself was a victim of his devious behavior and now was seeking revenge.
As I watched this particular play I could sense a eerie familiarity to my own story. My life had been turned upside down by someone making false claims, yet the difference was I didn't seek revenge. I actually forgave my stalker years ago because I knew she was suffering from mental illness and I knew I needed to move forward, which I have. By the time I arrived at my front door last night I was smiling. I realized that it didn't really matter what this so-called friend thought of me. What mattered is what I thought of myself. I know I'm a good, loving person who is blessed to have found her soul's purpose as an artist and is now supporting others. This last year in LA has taught me a lot. I have met so many individuals who have come into my life, and now I have a better compass to direct me towards which ones to keep and which ones to let go.
I think it's important to realize what it means to be your TRUE self, not someone with an image to live up to, not someone who fits in the mold, but someone who can stand tall whether it be ALONE and know deep inside you are ENOUGH just the way you are. I know this now, and it feels good.
So to my friend I saw last night. Thank you for the many happy years you brought to my life, but also thank you for the times I questioned my own worthiness. I needed you back then. You taught me so much, you helped me grow, but now I release you to stand on my own. I AM ENOUGH just being ME, and I spread my wings to fly and change the world in the only way I know how.