… no matter how bad things get … life will be better when you’re not in it …

I like to think that I’m a reasonably positive person. I mean, I know that I can bitch about things that I don’t like with the best of them, but overall, I think I keep a pretty positive (albeit realistic) outlook on life.

I try to be friendly, to be generous, to be kind and giving. I try to make people feel good about themselves, to consider their feelings when I’m interacting with them. I say, “please” and “thanks” because it’s the right thing to do. People don’t owe you anything so when I ask something of them, I do it the right way, and show my appreciation of their efforts.

Last week, I had a visitor from Australia — a girl that I last saw about 8 years ago, but someone that I have spoken to over the phone in the meantime. I broke up with her when I was 21 because we weren’t happy together — she never seemed to be happy and my friends became alienated. She had since told me that she had grown up a lot since then and that she didn’t know why she was so childish in those days.

Anyway, she came to visit and I took her to Yosemite National Park — a place that I find amazing. We had decided to go there before she arrived, so when we got there and started visiting some of the most beautiful places in the country, I was shocked to find that she was never happy. She complained, she whined, she abused, she belittled, she reduced everything around her to her level. She got angry with everyone, insulting waitresses, shopkeepers and in turn, me, along the way.

I put up with her ways for a few days, but in the end I couldn’t deal with having to apologize to people once she had left. I was sick of shutting her up so that I could help innocent people from feeling like they had done ghastly wrongs because she made them feel that way. I tried telling her how she was acting, but she blew up on me, and so I took a stand.

Three days before she was due to go home, I put her in a cab and sent her home. OK, I gave her the option of staying somewhere other than my home for those three days, but she didn’t take me up on that offer — I suppose I could have given her more of a chance to decide, but I didn’t think she deserved it.

There are people in our lives who are extremely negative, they are bitter, angry and abusive. They don’t care about anyone but themselves — and don’t you dare to question them on it.

I observed, I questioned and then I gave her backside one hell of a kick. I hope she finally does grow up and realize that the world owes her nothing if she doesn’t give something to it first.

I’m proud of who I’ve become in the last 8 years, but I can’t say the same about my one-time friend.