DEAR HARRIETTE: Years ago, I worked as a teacher at a small private school. The school was so tiny that some of the supervisors were teachers themselves.
I was fired abruptly one day by a supervisor who didn’t see my value. This was obviously crushing at the time, but I’ve since found a new school where I feel valued and appreciated by the staff.
To my surprise, the same supervisor that let me go from my previous job was recently hired by my current school to work at the same level as me.
Every time I see her, I think about the cruel way that she fired me. How do I get over the resentment I still have toward this person?
DEAR GRUDGES: Remember your value now. Do your job. Be cordial with her, but do not go out of your way to be friendly.
Rather than holding a grudge, just don’t forget how she treated you. You cannot trust her, but you also do not want to give her any power over you. So be your pleasant self.
If the time ever presents itself where you two talk, listen to see what she wants to discuss. You can also tell her that you did not appreciate her callousness toward you in the past, and that you hope she has become more compassionate over the years.
DEAR HARRIETTE: For several years — beginning around the same time that the pandemic started — I was deeply depressed.
I was unhappy with the way that I looked, my job, my finances and my relationship. For all of those reasons, I was very low-functioning. I did not go out with friends, I did not take pictures, and I barely left my house for anything other than work.
This year, thankfully, something changed. I started feeling like myself again at the beginning of the year. I like the way that I look again, and I’m no longer in an unhappy relationship. I’ve been making plans with friends and going out constantly.
It is almost like I’m making up for the years that I spent in hiding. I wish I could get those years back, but I know I can’t.
Losing that time has given me a deep sense of regret and “FOMO” (fear of missing out).
My question is, how do I get over this feeling? How do I forgive myself for losing a part of my 20s to depression, low self-esteem and a toxic relationship?
DEAR FOMO: The forced isolation that was triggered by the pandemic will have lasting effects on many people. Human beings enjoy being together, interacting regularly. Being forced to stay at home in isolation for so long was awful.
You may not easily be able to shrug off your concern about what you missed while you were hiding away. That’s all right. Try to accept that it is part of your experience.
The good news is that you are now appreciating a liberation of sorts where you want to be with people and are able to access joy. Be grateful for that, and do your best to live in the moment rather than fretting over what didn’t happen during quarantine. That time has passed. Let it go. Be fully present.
Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions [email protected] or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.