April Jeppson: It’s true: I think you’re pretty awesome

Published 8:08 pm Friday, July 17, 2020

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Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

April Jeppson


I know a fair amount of people in this town. I’ve been involved in a few different organizations and projects that have introduced me to people from all walks of life. Coaching, cooking classes, city council, the gym — I might not know your name, but I remember your face. And if I remember your face, I will most definitely awkwardly smile at you until you acknowledge me.

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I’ve learned that this town is still pretty small. Even though we have close to 20,000 people in the area, it seems that everyone is related to or went to school with someone. It seems everyone has a story about so and so. I’m used to it. So it’s no surprise when on occasion I’ll have someone say, “Oh you’re friends with them?” followed by a look that implies that this individual is not liked by at least one person.

I have a pretty basic rule when it comes to pre-judging people. I don’t. I think it’s important to heed people’s warnings and proceed with caution when necessary. However, just because a co-worker doesn’t like someone doesn’t mean I’m not going to like them. In fact, if you’re good to me and my personal experiences show that you’re a good person, I will consider you such.

There are people in this world who don’t like me. For whatever reason, (whether just or not) they simply don’t like me and I’m OK with that. Perhaps in high school I was rude to them at lunch. Or maybe in college I made out with their crush. I’m sure I told them I’d call them back and I didn’t. I bet I was too harsh to their child while coaching. Perhaps I really did something bad or maybe it was just perceived that way. I don’t know. There are thousands of things that could make a person have a bad feeling about me.

I am human and that means I’m inherently flawed. No matter how hard I try, I will mess up. And when I do mess up, there will be at least one person who witnesses it. They might keep my shortcomings to themselves, or they might tell 10 other people about it.  Then someone is going to decide that I’m not worth being friends with anymore. It’s how it works.

So when someone comes at me and gives me the third-degree for befriending someone they don’t like, it doesn’t change my opinion about my friend. We all have a chapter in our book we’re not proud of. We all fall short and then hopefully we are able to get up and try again. Isn’t that the whole point of this life, to learn and grow and become better? How can we possibly learn, if we never mess up?

As I’m teaching my child how to ride her bike, I know that she’s going to fall down. I know that there’s a very good chance she could skin her knee. I know she’s not going to become a professional BMXer tomorrow. It takes lots of practice and lots of unsuccessful rides before she’s really going to be good at it. Isn’t that life, though? In order to really be living life and taking chances and sucking every breath out of each day, aren’t we naturally going to make a few mistakes?

If I have ever wronged you, I am genuinely sorry. I am sorry that I did whatever I did that hurt you. I am sorry that you happened on that chapter of my life and I hope you know that I am constantly learning and trying so hard to grow. I need you to know something, too. I will never judge you based on what I’ve heard from someone else. I’ll probably talk you up and convince the nay-sayers that you’re obviously not the person they think you are, because I think you’re pretty awesome.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams.