Sometimes, We Are All Still Children

A strange thing happened to me yesterday.  I’m almost embarrassed to share, but why not?  A random stranger mentioned me via Twitter to let me know that there was no such thing as a “Yankee Texan”.  This woman, apparently a native Texan, was apparently insulted by the mere suggestion.

I could have and should have chosen to ignore the Tweet and move on with my day.  I did not.  A few Tweets back and forth quickly showed me that this woman had dug her teeth in and wasn’t going to back down.  A suggestion to “agree to disagree” was rebuffed.  Humor was also not a response that was accepted.  A hint at her bully tactics was denied but her Tweets told a different story.  She informed me that she was simply “giving me knowledge of who I was, a damn Yankee.” In the end, I blocked her from my Twitter and moved on with the rest of my day.

This little exchange made me think.  As I have gotten older and more self-aware, I try not to engage with these types of individuals.  I have tried to learn that my identity is my identity.  A random stranger cannot change that.  Still, something in me wouldn’t let her comments pass.  I was compelled to respond.  It was not until her opinion could not be influenced that I realized the sheer insanity of the exchange.

It was as if I were back on the playground facing down the bully.  Only now I am older and can fight back.  Halfway through, I realized that I was giving this woman power simply by responding.  That’s when I picked up my toys and left the fight.  A few clicks, a blocked user and the power was back in my hands.  Her opinion is her opinion.  It does not change who I am.  Thank God the adult took the brain back over and figured that out.