Over the past few months, I've been ambushed by friends and encouraged by strangers. I've been the smart kid in the class and the scapegoat. I've been alone in community and a part of something in isolation.
I've learned that most of your friends won't stand up for you, but some of your enemies will.
I've learned that most people prefer comfortable liars to a hard truth. I've learned that to follow your conscience is to shake hands with loneliness. I've seen the man behind the curtain.
(There's someone standing behind him, too. And it's probably a woman.)
I've learned not to trust those people who declare themselves "leaders." They just want to put you on their resume.
I've decided that struggle is sweet. I've decided that easy is almost always wrong and right is almost never easy. I've decided that no one is allowed to tell me who I am. I've decided to dig down deep and see what's there.
This year, I've reacted to unkindness with submissiveness because that's how I deflected heat when I was a child. It was a good way for a small person to survive. But, I'm not a small person any more. And when I was a woman, I put childish things behind me. I have no need to be afraid anymore. God's love has done away with my fear.
I embrace radical un-niceness.
And I have been delivered from a fate that's worse than death.
More than once.
And I won't forget it.