We recently moved to a place I said I’d NEVER live. And when I said never, I meant NEVER!!
I’ve held strong feelings against this place my whole life. The one university in the state I didn’t apply to is a 20 minute drive from my house, and their fans are EVERYWHERE. Rivals isn’t a strong enough word to describe the emotion I feel towards this whole place. On top of that whole school-loyalty situation is the fact that the area/county/valley is known as the bubble. Happy Valley. Everything is perfect here. And people here know they are the best people in the world. They’d like to shout it from the rooftops.
I never wanted anything to do with this place.
I used the word NEVER one too many times, though, and a wonderful job opportunity landed us here. In happy valley. In the most awful place in the world.
Now don’t get me wrong – it is beautiful here. I don’t even have to get on the freeway to access incredible hikes and vistas. It’s the people that I like to keep at a safe distance. I’ve had bad experiences more times than I’d care to share in the past, but I decided to offer a clean slate and let this place surprise me with its goodness…
A few weeks ago we attended a football game at the aforementioned rival university. (Bear in mind that my best friends in the whole world went to this school and we’re still friends. It’s just the competitive environment that warrants its own blog post.) So we went to the game. And cheered for the visiting school, of course (Wahoowa!) We had some home-team fans in front of us that were pretty delightful for most of the game. Casual banter back and forth, as I’ve experienced in many a stadium. However, the quarterback of the visiting team went down, and do you know what those [bleepety-bleep] fans shouted?
“Put him in a body bag!”
And he meant it.
I’m not being ultra-sensitive. He genuinely meant it. Sports aren’t supposed to be like that.
Strike one against happy valley.
Strike two came the other day. I was driving down the freeway, not breaking any laws but not being an idiot, either. I had some [bleepety-bleep] whip around me, cut me off, and flip me off.
This is the first time I’ve been flipped off in my life.
And guess what sticker they had on their back bumper? You guessed it – a sticker supporting the school of choice down here.
I called my husband nearly in tears begging to move away.
I don’t want to be these people. I don’t want to be one of them, I said.
But then something miraculous happened. I found a group of people in my town who genuinely cared about me. I had a woman call and arrange a babysitter and a ride for me so I could attend a special event. I had people come up who knew my name and were the kindest people I’ve met in a long, long time.
I found balance.
I found people just as far positive as the others were negative. People who lived what was preached. People who were warm and caring and good.
I want to be those people. I want to be the person that is kind no matter the association. I want to be the person who cares, who loves, and who listens. I want to balance all the bad that is happening in the world with a little bit of good sunshine.
Which side do you pick?