I lived in the place where I was born for a total of three months. So everywhere else I’ve ever lived, I’ve been an outsider. I grew up in two other small cities a thousand miles apart. I went to college in another city. I moved to yet another when I married. Two years later, I moved again. Then 10 months later… then seven years later… then a year and a half later… and 15 years later, I landed where I live now. I’ve lived in five different states, and I’ve lived in five different parts of Florida, six if you count the place where I now reside as different from the last place I called home, which it is. The two towns are only 30 miles, but worlds apart from one another.
I was warned when my husband and I moved to a small town that things are different there. Indeed, they are. I’ve learned that people in a small town will generally accept your hard work, but they may never accept you. I’ve learned that you can step on several sets of toes without moving a muscle. I’ve learned that things often move more slowly in a small town but that gossip spreads like wildfire. I’ve learned that people would rather believe the bad things they hear about you than the good they’ve observed for themselves. I’ve learned that people say they want to know the truth, but they’d rather be told what they want to believe. And I’ve learned that there is a pecking order that if not honored will leave one bloodied and beaten.
So right now, I want to go where nobody knows my name.