Yep. You read that right.
That sums up the weekend I just had.
You know that feeling where everything is going great and it feels like life has finally evened out for you? You’re floating along, things seem to just be working out the way they’re supposed to, all systems are go. And then suddenly…BAM! Out of left field comes a sucker punch that completely knocks you off course.
Well, that’s what happened to me this weekend. And oh no, one punch wasn’t enough. Life had to hand me TWO of them, not to mention all the aftershocks to follow. But I’m just going to concentrate on the one punch for this blog. The other one – well, who knows. You may hear about it one day. But not today.
Now, I’m going to withhold specific details. And I probably shouldn’t be blogging about it at all. A part of me thinks that talking about it publicly will just fuel the fire and makes things worse for me. But then there’s this other part of me – this slightly bigger part – that feels a little differently . You know what that part is telling me?
And that part is a heck of a lot louder than the other part so it wins today, my friends.
I live in a small town. But the difference between me and the other small town dwellers is that I have not been here long. In fact, I have never been anywhere long. I’m a nomad of sorts. The military brat in me has never really disappeared, which has caused me to float around from here to there, even as an adult, and never really put down roots. But in the past few years, I actually thought I had finally found a place to call ‘home.’ I go places and I recognize people. I walk through Walmart and invariably see someone I know and stop to chat. I start seeing people that I work with out and about in their personal lives and stop for a quick “how ya doin?” conversation. This may sound like everyday humdrum happenings to most of you, but not to me. It was new. And I loved it.
But this past weekend? This past weekend showed me the down side to this small town living. And to be quite honest – it has made me want to start dragging out the luggage.
Apparently there has been a rumor going around for the past few weeks that I tried to break up a marriage by calling the wife and telling her that the husband had been cheating on her. Apparently I “witnessed” this.
Now, before I go any further, let me tell you a little story. A few years ago, my coworker and I were leaving work at the same time. I was following behind her making my way through town heading home. I noticed traffic was a little slower than usual, but just went on listening to my music and singing and daydreaming like I always do. Once I finally made it through the traffic jam and got moving again, my cell phone rang. It was my coworker. I answered and she said, “Wow, that was a bad wreck back there, wasn’t it?”
Say what? A wreck?
I had driven by a friggin WRECK, people. And I hadn’t noticed a thing.
THAT is a perfect example of my attention to detail. I am clueless. A bomb could go off beside me and unless a piece of shrapnel pierced my skin, I probably wouldn’t realize it happened until I turned to walk in that direction and fell into the crater it left behind. You think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not. We all have our flaws, and that’s my big one. I’m self-absorbed. I have no idea what is happening around me at any given time because I’m too busy living in my own mind. That is just the way it is.
And yet, I managed to witness some secret rendezvous between two people I barely know and actually cared enough to go out of my way and tell the wife (whom I also barely know) about what happened.
Excuse me for just a second while I turn this BS meter alarm off because that thing is BLARING.
So, here I have been, roaming around this cutesy little small town, smiling and waving at all the people that I thought were my friends and acquaintances, thinking that all was well in my happy little bubble – and all the while I was being secretly hated. Talked about. Defamed.
And sure, it’s easy to say, “Oh just shake it off. It doesn’t matter what people think.” But you know what makes it matter? What makes it matter is that the people I do care about believe it too. And there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it. I remember an old friend once telling me that the hardest thing to prove is the truth. If you’re trying to prove a lie, you can make up whatever you need to as evidence to just tangle the web a little more. But when you’re defending the truth, all you have is the truth. And apparently that just isn’t good enough these days.
So, am I going to pack my bags? I don’t know. I hate to think that one little incident could make that happen. But when that little incident stretches as far as it has and has affected the foundation of trust that I have built with the people I love, then that makes it not such a little incident anymore.
I am a good person. I just am. That’s all there is to it. And while that may sound like I’m tooting my own horn, believe me when I say I’m not. In fact, I’m sick of being a good person. I’m sick of turning the other cheek, of doing everything by the book, of looking out for other people’s feelings and considering others before I take actions. I’m SICK of it. I’d love to just take one day off from my personality and just go give everyone involved with this thing the punch in the throats that they deserve.
But I won’t. Because I am who I am.
I’ll just continue to cry behind closed doors and watch the people and the life I love slip away because of something utterly and completely beyond my control.
Sometimes people truly suck.
“Laws control the lesser man…Right conduct controls the greater one.”
– Mark Twain