Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Broken Rules: A Possession Bloghop!

Happy Book Birthday, POSSESSION !

And of course, in honor of this grand occasion, we (Ali, Nichole and I) are along with a whole bunch of Baddies ;) are blogging about a time when we broke the rules! It's not too late to jump on the bloghop and add your blog to the list below and get something posted today - you could win a signed copy of POSSESSION! Or you can send one of us a copy of your receipt from your POSSESSION purchase and get entered to win some personal Elana-time! (All the details can be found HERE.)

So then, on to the rule breaking!

Back in the high school days, I honestly was the ultimate Goodie. I didn't break the rules. I did what I was supposed to do and called it good. There was no questioning and only a little bit of wondering what I was missing out on. I'm from a pretty traditional Laotian family and with that came crazy strict parents and lots and lots of family obligations. Friends they would approve of, and never, never did I just "go out" because, well, that's just not what Goodie girls did. I just did what I was supposed to and called it a day.

Flash forward to the following spring ...

(And yes, I realize technically, I was 19 and an "adult" but really, I still lived at home and honestly - in most Laotian families, age doesn't mean much) ... I'd started hanging out with a different crowd, made some new friends and some of them had some pretty colorful histories.

Within a couple weeks, every rule my parents had ever sent flew out the window, shattering as they hit the ground twenty feet below.

I was staying out all night. Coming home just as the sun was coming up and my parents were leaving for work.

I started dating a guy who, although really nice, was involved in some pretty shady stuff.

And I was spending so much time when I was usually with my brother and sister with these people who, at any point if a member of law enforcement came in, would probably have gotten us all arrested for one reason or another.

The thing here that was hard, was that beneath their activities, most of these people were really nice people. I liked them, as people. Maybe not everything they did, but isn't that always the way it is?

In the end, I got tired, bored, whatever you want to call it, and I walked away from the hanging out at all hours of the night. School priorities and finals came around and honestly, there's only so much of sitting around doing nothing a person can handle before you start to think, "yanno, I could be home sleeping."

I think my biggest lesson here is something that reaffirms a lot of other lessons that we've all been taught. You never really know people until you get to know them. So 1) Don't judge others. 2) Treat people with respect. 3)Always remember the Golden Rule.

P.S. As for the guy I was dating? Because we all know that's where most of the curiosity lies ... Well, his decisions changed a lot of his life and years later, I heard from him after he was released from prison. He found me on Facebook. (True story, I swear!!) It was a very thoughtful and sincere letter filled with apology and regret, as well as hope that he'd be able to get his life turned around and wishing me the best in mine. We're FB friends now and that's about the most contact we have, not for any real reason other than we're just very different people from who we were back then. And lesson 4)? Regardless of how you feel or what you think, people CAN change - they just have to want it and need to have the right motivation.

Your turn! What rules have you shattered??


Angie said...

That's a great story, Windy. I'm glad your friend was able to turn his life around. It's not easy. You are so right about not judging people!

Nichole Giles said...

You are brave. That is all. And I am still grinning at the FB contact letter. So surreal, yes? You are such a Baddie!

Cherie Reich said...

You learned some great lessons when hanging out with them. And I completely agree hanging out with friends all night gets boring after a while.

Cindy M Hogan author of Watched said...

Isn't real life grand? Honesty rocks. Thanks for visiting me.

L.T. Elliot said...

Okay, I remember reading this so where is my comment? Weird.

I went through a similar kind of friend-rebellion and got out of it for the same reason. I was bored to tears that we weren't DOING anything. But I did learn a lot about them and it's helped me to be able to see and appreciate people no matter where they are in their lives.