Eavesdropping. It’s in my name (My last name is Eaves), but am pretty sure it was not meant to be a family trait. At least that is my story and I am sticking to it.
Growing up I was a very sensitive kid, some would (and did) call me a weanie because I took everything that everyone said to heart. It hurts when that happens. When someone says something about you that you do not want to believe, it hurts. Especially when you start believing that what they are saying or thinking is the truth and that you are destined to be that kind of person.
When the prompt for the day was about overhearing snippets of other people’s conversations, I thought real hard about a funny anecdote of recent years that I could share, even thought about coming up with a fictional encounter to share. But as I sat here in the quiet house and waited for some clear direction to flitter its way into my brain, the memories came to me. And they were not good memories.
They are memories of me as a kid, purposefully listening in on conversations of older kids from my neighborhood. Sometimes my name would be brought up as I was kind of a squirrely kid I guess. Had friends, but always wanted to hang with the cooler kids, which made me their token nerd or punching bag. Someone that they could pick on so that their egos could stay inflated, but I was OK with it because I got to hang out with them. Meanwhile there were kids that were actual friends that did want to hang out with me, but I chose to go after the “big game”.
Anyway, listening in on conversations that they had, not knowing that I was listening, they would say things about me. Being that they were older, they were experimenting with cigarettes and beer and …….girls. I was against all of those things, all I wanted was to play baseball, football, street hockey, kick the can, it didn’t matter as long as it was a game. Several times I ratted them out to my parents, not knowing that it would get back to them. I became “the snitch” of the neighborhood.
On many occasions this new obsession of mine ended up with me getting very hurt, usually locking myself in my bedroom and crying into the pillow so that nobody knew, because if they knew, they would probably talk about that too. It was a vicious cycle, but I was too young and naive to know that I was the one that had to break it. I just wanted to be liked, just wanted to be one of the cool kids.
Well, that never happened. Never did break into that circle of people. Even today I see cliques everywhere. Be it in church, on the job or at a “get together”, I do not feel like I fit in to a specific group. It can be hard sometimes, I am not a conversationalist as I have mentioned many times on this blog. But the one thing that I have learned, is that there are other people that feel the same way that I do, but we seldom seem to find each other because that is just something that people do not talk about. How do you talk about feeling like you don’t fit in? How does that get brought up in a conversation with a group of people that you do not know real well? It doesn’t usually….
Being in a room full of people and feeling alone is one of the worst feelings that I know. Everybody wants to belong somewhere I believe. Even those that say that they do not care what others think of them, are saying that because they are actually thinking about what others are thinking of them. Why else would they say it?
I’m not looking for sympathy because I know that feeling this way is a choice I made, and that it is something that I can work on. Unfortunately a lot of choices we make as kids tend to stick with us for a very long time and manifest themselves into something much bigger. That is why I write, so that when I do remember these thoughts, I can get them out. I spent all of my life trying to cover up my feelings, there is no magic feeling faucet that can just be turned on and off, it takes time to change. That’s OK, I have time. And I am trying to learn humility and trying to become and remain teachable, because if I am not teachable, then I might as well just give up right now.
Anyway, back to eavesdropping, I do my best not to listen to other people’s conversations because I know that if I do, there might be something that is said that is going to affect me, either positively or negatively. And since I am not in the conversation, IT IS NONE OF MY DAMN BUSINESS!
But more important to me, is to try to never say anything about anybody that I would not say directly to that person. All I would be doing is spreading the crap that people like to take and run with. Contributing to the problem, and not the solution.
I mentioned that one of the worst feelings in the world is to be in a crowd of people and feeling alone. Well today I have found out what one of the best feelings in the world is…..to be in a room by myself….and to NOT feel alone.
Have a blessed day
Mark Eaves (not dropper)