This morning one of my neighbours, I have no idea who, referred to me as a “Lone Ranger”. This was in relation to my recent run in with Irish Water meter protesters that stopped Irish Water from installing a meter in my home when I had given them permission to do so.I was live on air challenging the men who intimidated me both physically and verbally when this neighbour of mine, anonymously texted in.
That’s the guy with the horse, Silver, Hi Hoing all over the place, right? But I know how this neighbour was implying it and exactly what they meant.
I have two schools of thought on this. My first thinking, my very first reaction when the text was read out to me, and all the thousands that listen, was one of aloneness. After all, calling someone “lone” anything implies that you are all on your own, over there in the corner all by yourself, not a part of the collective massive (my neighbours), and that in and of itself can be a very difficult place to be.
This aloneness is not unfamiliar to me. I am by definition a “lone” parent. That means I parent all by myself, all of the time, and with this comes loneliness that you wouldn’t believe. This way of being forces me to dig deep, to strive hard, to stand my corner, fight my ground. This way of being makes me fiercely independent, incredibly passionate and extremely opinionated about things that need to be challenged and need to be changed. Does this make me different to some? I suppose it does. I am never content in sitting on my heels allowing someone to speak for me. I could never get a good night sleep if I was afraid to speak my truth. Does this alienate me from some people? I would be lying to say that it didn’t and even a bigger liar if I said it didn’t hurt sometimes being this way.
My life, that Monday in question would have been a lot easier if I had stayed in my home and allowed a group of people dictate what happened on my property. My life would have been a lot easier if I had not put myself in harms way. My life would have been a lot easier if I had decided to not involve the Gardai, not spoken up to my neighbours, not written my blog post, not gone on 96FM, and not have challenged the lies spoken about me and the incident this morning. Instead of all of those really difficult things I could have shut my curtains, shut my mouth and my neighbours wouldn’t have to text in to radio shows calling me names. But here is the thing. I would rather not live at all if I had to live my life being afraid of what other people think of me. Does it hurt when I am not invited to the party? Of course it does but that is a hurt I can live with. The hurt that is a million times worse is that voice inside that screams in pain when I am not being true to who I am. That pain is unbearable. That pain does the most damage, both to me and to those I choose to love. I would rather be a Lone Ranger a million times over than spend one second allowing the crowd decide for me, and if I have to keep shouting and keep fighting for what I believe in, then so be it.
To the neighbour who called me a Lone Ranger, I say Thank you. Thank you for seeing in me the ability to take a stand even when it is scary. Even when it is lonely and yes, even if I am the only one.
I will be able to sleep soundly tonight in the knowledge that I took a stand and that is more important to me than ever following a crowd.
Hi Ho Silver!