The spot. It doesn’t matter which; it’s always the same one. The place where it all feels scripted and inescapable. The weight of the past, the set patterns, the blind spots. The tons of negatives. The self-fulfilling prophesies. “You’ll never amount to anything.” “The problem with you is…” “I knew you’d let me down.” And so on, and on. And on.
Leaving it. The town or the toxic mindset. The never-ending mantra of parental lies, absorbed like Scripture. Letting it go. Making your way to something else. Being the one others see, and like well enough. The ones who don’t buy into the cartoon figure: The Dunce, The Problem Child, The Failure – whatever the old story said you were.
It’s an unspectacular form of courage. They won’t make movies about it. They won’t post larger-than-life images of that lifetime achievement; especially not if it’s one that needs tackling over, and over, and over again.
It’s not about who they said you were. It’s not even about who you think you are. It’s about everything else you’ve never known the first damn thing about, or never wanted to acknowledge, or never dared to be simply because you bought into the stories of who they said you were.