Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

I am still in two minds about which of these is worse. Both leave you lying awake at night. Well, maybe not everyone, but I have had sleepless nights because of both.

I firmly believe in the law of attraction. Which – in a nutshell – means you get what you give. Be reckless with other people’s hearts and other people will be reckless with yours. Simple concept.

Exhibit A.

I had a pre-primary school friend who has only ever been nice to me. Sure, we had our differences, but she was loyal and trustworthy. It was only at the end of primary school when popularity became a thing that we grew apart. I picked friends lacking the same values and let her down. I let her down when she needed a friend most. I will never be able to get over that, even though I have apologised to her as an adult.

Exhibit B.

I remember years ago when I was in first or second grade a boy gave me a bracelet with a heart on it. I did not like the boy and gave it back to him in a not-so-nice way. He insisted I have it, I insisted I won’t. Thinking about it now, I could have said thank you. Thank you for liking me and thank you for spending money on me – which he probably did not have since we were seven years old. I promise you, I sometimes still think about it at night when I can’t sleep. How I wish I could apologise!

Let’s move on to the heartbreaks now, shall we?

Ugh. Confession: I still lie awake because of some of these too. The thing about this though is that I don’t lie awake still being torn or devasted or whatever, I lie awake because I did not walk out earlier. And not just boy-girl relationships, I am talking about friends too. I wish I had. Knew I could. I did not. Perhaps keeping myself up with bullshit relationships like those served as lessons I would not have learned had I walked out earlier. Now I know not to make the same mistakes again.

Exhibit A.

I was asked to be the maid of honour at a friend’s wedding. She turned into bridezilla blaming all her actions on stress and justifying everything because, well, because she is the bride. Of course, being a maid of honour means being patient and supportive and being abused for being that. Right? Right. So, the night before the wedding a final minor detail was not attended to and she lost her shit with me completely. In front of the bridal party. I need to mention, this is now after I have been running around getting all the final wedding stationery and crafts ready for the big day. The logical thing to do will be to stay calm and suck it up and go home and pretend it never happened and attend the wedding in your uncomfortable heels. The impulsive thing would be to throw down your tiara and walk out. To not attend the wedding and go to a friend’s birthday party who appreciates you instead (in flats!). For the first time in my life, I picked the logical route. The friendship would have ended up in smoke and fire either way.

Exhibit B.

I was in a boy-girl relationship when I just finished my studies. I was head over heels and understood for the third time in my life that love is indeed blind. Drama shock and horror – I will spare you the details, – it ended up in a devastating mess of a heartbreak. It took me years – literally – to get over it. Looking back now I understand the heartbreak and that, if not for this guy, I would never have moved to Port Elizabeth where I finally met Hubbles. What I don’t understand though is that it took me so long to (a) walk out and (b) to get over it.

The lesson here: Never be an asshole and never be afraid to call one by the name.

End of story.

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