Sometimes You’re the Windshield, Sometimes You’re the Bug

Yesterday was a lovely morning. Warm for early October. I sat on the deck reading a book and drinking coffee when a fight broke out at the thistle seed feeder.

A female purple finch landed on an upper rung. Two yellow finches were eating at the lower rungs. The purple finch decided she wanted a lower rung and so she pecked the head of a yellow finch, squawked, and the yellow flinch flew away. Not content sharing, she poked her head around the small feeder and pecked the other yellow finch, squawked, and that yellow finch flew away, too. She now had the feeder to herself.

I watched her eat for a few moments. Soon she decided she wanted sunflower seeds. There were three purple finches perched and eating at the sunflower seed feeder. She flew to the round perch and pecked at all three until they flew away. She ate her fill and flew away, but the feeder remained quiet for another 10 minutes. None of the other birds dared come back until they knew the coast was clear.

I fill the feeders assuming that all birds who want to eat can. I’m naïve that way, and not just about birds. One finch wanted it all and made the others fly away. She could have cared less what my purpose was for filling the feeders. She had an agenda – to feed herself at the expense of others – and she was not about to share.

I learned this week, yet again, that this happens with people, too. It’s the by-product of writing. Sensitive people have no business writing and I often wonder what the hell I’m doing writing this blog or even speaking on behalf of causes I’m passionate about. I offer my words, both verbally and written, and when they are taken away from me, consumed in the most egregious manner and spit back at me in unrecognizable form, I can barely breathe. I can’t move within my world like usual. I fuss and worry and spend way too much time second-guessing myself.

When you put yourself out there, both in cyberspace and in real life, hate rumors are inevitable. I’ve known that for years as a columnist. Knowing that doesn’t make it any easier when it happens. As a writer, I know that what I write and what I say will be interpreted through the readers’ and listeners’ filters. But what I know to be true and what I live in peace with are often two different things. I’ve been writing this blog for almost a year and many times I’ve thought to quit because a few people haven’t liked what I’ve written. You’d think I could give a shit what other people think, but the truth is, I do. Too much for my own good.

It’s sometimes hard to remember that I can’t make everyone happy with what I write or expect them to join me in my opinion or to even think about their own lives in context of what I’ve written, although that is my ultimate goal in writing. People, like that purple finch, have an agenda. They cull from a piece of writing the part that moves them, makes them angry or speaks to them the most, and I can’t force anyone to read what I write in the way I intended. Usually that’s OK with me. Right now, when my words are scrutinized in ways I never imagined and I’m called every name in the book, it’s not OK. I’m mad, I’m hurt, and mostly I’m stunned.

I don’t want to be that finch that flies away, but right now, I want the hell out of Dodge. Do you ever have times like that? Do you ever just get so misunderstood that you don’t know any other way to deal with it than escape?

The bird feeders are empty again. It’s up to me to fill them. I will, and not because some bitchy purple finch wants to dine alone. I’ll fill them because the majority of birds get along and will feed together in peace. I wish I could believe the same of people. 

8 thoughts on “Sometimes You’re the Windshield, Sometimes You’re the Bug

  1. (((hugs))) LynnieBaby, because it sounds like you need them. Don’t stop blogging because of a few ignorant people. By stopping, you will deny a ton of people a lot of joy and smiles that they get from reading your posts.
    I would really miss it if you stopped writing.

  2. Who is being mean to you – I’ll kick his/her/their asses! I know how you feel because I’m the same way. It’s called being an outward perfectionist, meaning that you do need others to approve of what you do and when they don’t, it really hurts. I totally get it, but don’t stop – I love reading your blogs!

  3. i cannot stop blogging. i forbid it.
    ((((hugs)))) i’m here if you need me. miss you and love you and all that crap.

  4. It’s like you said, you hang it out there and there are pople who will take a shot at you. Were you here when the nut wrote that I shouldn’t trade tall tales with Katie because it might scar her in the future? Remember the nut who testified at deposition that I must believe in Santa Claus? Yep, you’re a tough chick, one of the toughest I’ve ever known, but I know the SOS can wear on a person. Take a deep breath, grab Larry and have some wild adult fun, remember your loving family and friends far outnumber your bitter and petty advasaries and keep on keeping on.
    Or, withdraw into a cacoon and become a crazy old cat lady. Either way, I loves ya.

  5. you have no idea how much you’re writings have encouraged me to keep going…..please don’t let a bad apple or two ruin it for the rest of us. thank you thank you thank you

  6. The hate rumors happen in every profession, I think. Unfortunately, knowing that does NOT make it any easier to deal with when you are the target. Hang tough. The world needs to hear what you have to say.

  7. You and I have never met, nor have we ever spoken to each other either verbally or in writing. I wanted you to know that I LOVE reading your blog. I found it through your weight watchers web page. I look forward to sitting down a couple of times a week and reading what you have to say.
    It is wonderfully refreshing to read your intelligent and well written thoughts and experiences. I hope you keep on writing this blog for as long as your heart desires.
    Thanks for sharing a part of you.

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