Monday, April 20, 2015

The Moment You Know

I was the kid who wore keys on his belt and goggles and a cape to school for no reason other than wanting to

I don't know if I believe in life changing moments. Sure, there's moments that signify a change, like getting married or having a child. But those are generally planned out and expected, at least to some degree. There are certainly tragic moments that can change things. Losing a loved one comes to mind. I don't mean that either. I mean I don't know if I totally believe in some unexpected thunder bolt from on high life changing moment. But I do believe that there are times when you realize something about yourself that will stay with you forever. For me one of these moments came when I realized that I would always be the bullied, and never the bully.

I've written about bullying before. It was a constant part of my life. "The moment" came on a summer day. I believe it was a Wednesday. I don't actually know if it was Wednesday, but it was a day in the middle of a week of summer camp. I had been in some kind of confrontation at the morning activity and was probably bitching about it to one of my friends. I had been fending off bullies all week, which wouldn't have been enough to provide "a moment" if not for the context.

I was at computer camp.

Being bullied.

By nerds.

Kids who had chosen to come out to the woods to learn to code DOS and tell a turtle how to draw a dream catcher were threatening to kick my ass. (Cue Rainier Wolfcastle saying "It's not a comedy.")

It was on that day that I knew and understood deep within myself that I would never have the upper hand. I would never be a bully. Not because I was a nice guy, and not because I had gained some deep empathy from my own experiences, but simply because no one would ever be afraid of me.

OK, it's kind of a comedy.

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