So, I seem to be on a bit of a lyric kick this week…[ in case you haven’t noticed from recent posts 🙂 ]
Today’s lyric pick is one from the one-and-only, incredibly musically-inclined, (and so damn gorgeous, to boot) emerging artist otherwise known as SAM HUNT. I just love everything about his songs. The lyrics of which are absolute perfection. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was to have missed his performance at the CMAFest last month. But lesson learned : buy festival tickets early in advance next time. Anyhow, the particular song that happens to be my muse for today’s post is called “Breakup In A Small Town”. With everything that’s been going on with the Bestie and her significant other these past couple of weeks–and my own not-so-pleasant past experiences–it seems fitting to share this track.
My favorite part of the song–the chorus :
I guess that’s just how it goes
When you break up in a small town
I see our friends and they put on a show
Like they don’t want me to know
So they give me the go-around
But there’s only so many streets, so many lights
I swear it’s like I can’t even leave my house
I should’ve known all along
You gotta move or move on
When you break up in a small town
As with every small town, there are both advantages and disadvantages to living in one. In spite of all the time growing up that I spent resenting my boring, Upstate New York little hometown, I’m grateful and glad that I grew up in a small town. There’s just something about the dynamic of a small town that will outshine and rival that of a city any day, in my book. The pace is slower, people are nicer and more aware of their fellow citizens/neighbors. And as hard as it is to believe, there’s actually a perk or two about everyone knowing everyone and everything. People look out for one another more…people care. And when push comes to shove–most of the time–they’ll have your back. It’s a comforting thing…knowing you’re not alone…having that figurative safety net.
But what goes up, must come down…and there’s two sides to everything. Small-town folks are fickle people. They’ll just as soon stab you in the back and turn on you as they will come to your defense. It’s a double-sided sword…this whole “everyone knows everyone” deal. When it’s good, it’s great. But when it’s not–well…then you best run and take cover–that’s all I’m saying. Breaking up in a small town can be just as ugly as one might probably imagine…and that’s putting it nicely. It sucks to indefinite proportions. And it’s not fair–but that’s just how it goes. That’s life in a small town.
Distance is what typically heals a breakup. And let’s face it–in a small town–there’s no such thing. A breakup is difficult enough on its own, without having to run into or see him/her all the time, every day. Of course, the small-town gossip mill doesn’t help the situation any. People–oh how they love to talk and make up stories and spread rumors–usually with complete disregard for how their words might effect the other person. Simply put, people don’t care. Not one bit. If it’s interesting and newsworthy, they’ll run with it–despite only having half the facts–if any–about it. Nobody thinks about or cares that their lies–big or small–can ruin a person’s life. Or destroy a person’s reputation, damaging it permanently. No one cares about the consequences of their actions, or the level of hurt and pain their words can bring. People are bullies…tearing down others in order to build themselves up, and to make themselves feel good about their miserable excuse for an existence. People don’t consider the person behind the lies and the rumors–or that he/she has the same feelings as anyone else.
I hate it, but I’ve seen it first-hand. I’ve seen how cruel people can be. How resentful and vindictive and destructive some can be. But I’ve seen it happen; I’ve felt it. I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to be afraid to leave your house or go out with friends for fear of who you might run into or see out. I know what’s it like to not want to feed into the rumors and the bullshit, even though it’s killing you to remain silent and you want so badly to stand up and defend yourself–but can’t because doing so will only make it worse. I know what it’s like to drive past a place that holds so many painful, lost memories to the extent that even the few good memories are overshadowed by the bad. All those places…the bar where it all began, the beautiful, grassy knoll where many a secret rendezvous took place, the alley where it all finally ended…all those places, permanently marred by all the pain.
I know what’s it like to be alone in a town full of people, to feel the betrayal of those you once considered a friend. I know what it’s like to carry the burden of guilt and shame everywhere you go. To hear the whispers, see the looks, and know there’s not a damn thing you can say to get them to listen to you, to hear your side of it–to hear the truth. I know how bad it feels and to be so desperate that you’d pretty much do anything to make it stop…to make them stop. I know what it’s like to be accused and found guilty of something you’re completely innocent of.
Most importantly, I know what it’s like to be driven and run out of the place and town you once called home. To feel like you have no other choice but to go because there’s nothing left for you, and because you know you’ll never be happy there…you’ll never belong. I know what it’s like to want to turn back the clock, to make things right. But you can’t because what’s done is done and you can’t fix damage that’s irreversible, no matter how hard you might try, and no matter how badly you might want to.
I know what it’s like to feel trapped. But on the upside, I also now know what it’s like to be free from it all–from everything and everyone that had a role–minor or otherwise–in all your misery. I’m not proud of the fact that I let certain people get the best of me, so much so that–at least in part–they ended up driving me 900 miles away. But I’m not sorry, either. It might have started out with me running away from certain people and situations…but somewhere along the way these past 7 months…I changed direction. I no longer see my moving here to Nashville as me running away from something…but rather, I see it as me running towards something. My dreams, my goals, my future…and my own life that’s good. It may not seem like much–this freedom–but it’s enough. For now.