When I wrote this post I was in a very dark place. I debated even publishing it at all. But sometimes I get the impression that I voice things that others cannot or will not, and hearing it brings them comfort. So here it is. But please rest assured that I’m feeling much better about things now.

I’m a fiercely loyal person. Disparage someone I care about and I will verbally eviscerate you. Treat others unfairly and you will unleash the kraken.

I don’t know why I bother.

I can count the number of times someone else has flown to my defense on one hand. Granted, it’s a rare occasion when I need such assistance. I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself. But sometimes it would be nice to be thrown an emotional life ring, you know?

As a matter of fact, what I usually get thrown is under the bus. Heck, I practically live under that bus. It’s a source of profound disappointment to me. And road rash.

You’d think I’d have learned by now. There are very few people in this world who are going to stick their necks out for you. Most pull their selfish little heads into their feeble little shells to avoid what they assume will be total annihilation. It’s sad, really.

I don’t want to become one of those people. But if no one else is going to protect me, I need to protect myself. Circle the wagons. Keep my mouth shut. Let the chips fall where they may, and hope that they rain down on someone else’s head for a change.

And my steadfast resolve to be more self-protective will last, oh, a day or two. Because I can’t let go of the belief that if I ever want to see justice in this world, I have to play fair, in the hopes that one day someone might reciprocate, and I’ll finally feel vindicated.

Next time you see me, do me a favor and, as they say in the South, slap me upside the head.


Claim your copy of A Bridgetender’s View: Notes on Gratitude today and you’ll be supporting StoryCorps too! http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5

Secret Squirrel

I know several people who have a very strong sense of privacy. They don’t reveal anything to anyone unless it’s absolutely necessary. They are listeners, not talkers. They observe the world, and keep their opinions about it to themselves.

On more than one occasion I have been shocked to my very core when I’ve found out something about one of these Secret Squirrel types after having known them for years. Often it’s pretty major stuff, too. Not necessarily anything sinister, but usually it’s something that fundamentally alters my view of that person.

Part of me wishes I could be that self-protective. But on the other hand, these people seem kind of tense to me. They’re a bit paranoid and suspicious. And to be honest, even though I know I shouldn’t take their behavior personally, it’s hard not to get my feelings hurt because it makes me feel untrusted, and if you can’t figure out after decades of friendship that I’m trustworthy, that just makes me sad.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m way too wide open. Because of that, I’ve been taken advantage of. On the privacy spectrum I’m at the opposite end. There has to be a happy medium out there, where you’re open to love and friendship and closed to swindlers and scumbags. I think with time I’m slowly working my way toward it. It’s a process.

secret squirrel