I do not feel obligated to keep people as Facebook friends. I know, I know. For many people the goal of Facebook is to see just how many "friends" they can have. But I have been known to clean house occasionally, removing friends that I no longer encounter or have reason to chat with via the internet. And on a few occasions, I have been known to get rid of Facebook connections when those people start becoming a detriment to my thoughts or my perspective on life.
I just recently went through the latter experience. This person has had a VERY rough few years. But this person has allowed some really horrid experiences to make her a very bitter person. She sees nothing good in her own life and does her best to make sure that no one else sees anything good in their own existence. We hadn't chatted in quite some time and for some reason she just realized that we had left Pennsylvania and were living in Iowa. She asked what I was up to career-wise and when I mentioned that I have a collection of part-time or seasonal jobs her reaction was laced with venom - "Well you're everyone's lackey aren't you! Always taking orders from everyone!" Actually, she used a much more "colorful" word than lackey but I won't put it in print!
There is much about my work situation that I love - working with teens and college students in the theater world, teaching at the collegiate level, etc. - but it can get exhausting at those times of the year when I'm running hard and fast with more than one of my part-time jobs. Would I like a little more "control" in the workplace? Maybe. But with more control comes more responsibility and that can be annoying.
Prior to speaking with her, I saw no reason to be dissatisfied with my work situation. Yes, more money would be nice, but I love the jobs I work which is always as important (or more important) than money. But after her little dig, I started doubting everything. With little effort, I started finding negative with each work situation I encounter. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit provided me with some really positive experiences in one of those jobs and it quickly reminded me why I am doing what I am doing.
The "friend" I mentioned before kept our Facebook conversation going, taking every opportunity to shred my sense of contentment. So I deleted her. She didn't take it well, sending me a Facebook message telling me that she was simply trying to push me to try to "make something of my life." She went on to say that she understood that I might not like what she had to say but "sometimes the truth hurts". What she didn't understand was she has no clue what the truth is about my life.
She commented that I had musical and theatrical talent and should be using it for something more meaningful than working with some small-town community college and podunk high school. My skill, according to her, is being wasted if I do anything with it other than perform.
The truth? I have former students who STILL call me mom and have stayed in touch for years. They occasionally seek my counsel or kindly accept it even when they don't ask! I have numerous friends with whom I have shared performance experiences that are a great source of encouragement to me and make sure to offer a sincere "break a leg" each time they know a show that I am involved with is taking the stage. I have colleagues that treat me with respect and make coming to work every day a joy.
If all I leave behind me is a legacy of students who know that somebody cares about them, I'm fine with that. Despite what my former Facebook friend thinks, that will definitely mean that I have "made something of my life."