Good Evening TXK

photo by Matt Cornelius
photo by Matt Cornelius

On my very first day of middle school, I was silently washing my hands with my head down, when, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a girl who was scanning me up and down. She looked a little taken aback by me before she asked if I was gay. I didn’t know there was a “gay” way to wash your hands, but apparently, I had mastered it. No, I wasn’t wearing anything flashy or attention-grabbing, just some flip-flops and an Aeropostale tee, looking overly plain. I didn’t know exactly what that word meant, but the tone with which she asked me the question didn’t give me the impression it was a compliment. After school, my mom explained it to me, and it kind of hurt my feelings. It wasn’t necessarily the word “gay” that offended me, but the negative way the word was hurled at me that day that stuck with me.

Little did I know this would become a recurring question asked to me almost daily by my peers for the remainder of my junior high years. Ahhh, yes… I’m sure you can also remember your own wonderful junior high experiences and the absolute JOYS of being surrounded by angsty, filterless 12-14-year-olds who were all dealing with inner turmoil, trauma, and insecurities. Middle school was a blast! This was the beginning of a major shift in the way those around me were perceiving me, and I remember crying a lot. I’m human with natural human emotions, after all.

However, somewhere along the way, those tears turned into laughs, which eventually turned into eye rolls. My absolute favorite thing about humans is our incredible ability to adapt. Something that at one time caused us so much pain can eventually be easily overlooked, no matter how prevalent it still is. Taking offensive questions and comments like a champ became second nature to me, but somewhere inside, I became bitter.

Make no mistake, that initial offense that occasionally creeps over all of us is completely normal. I’m convinced it’s in our DNA! Have you seen Texarkana Cheers and Jeers? But it’s what we decide to do with that offense after the initial hurt where things tend to get a little rocky.

As time passed, I realized I was internalizing a lot of these false narratives about me and building my entire identity around them. Instead of trooping on and proudly embracing myself for all my beautiful little eccentricities that signaled to others that I’m not the same as them, I became consumed with a longing for these people to experience the same pain I was enduring. I would speak aloud that I was unphased by the vitriol spewed my way while simultaneously obsessively rehashing my offense to anyone who would listen. I constantly searched for an excuse to talk bad about these people, to bully them the way they had me, and to gain sympathy, as it temporarily soothed (but, of course, never healed) the wound.

After living a little life and gaining a little wisdom, most of us realize retaliation doesn’t remove your offense. Getting even doesn’t change any of your current circumstances, and holding a grudge or being angry only holds you back from reaching your full potential. On top of all this, the person who caused your hurt, the offender, is (possibly) sleeping soundly while you’re staring at the ceiling fixated on how they scarred you.

Jesus occasionally speaks to me through dreams. In a dream I had in February, I was walking up to random people who had offended me, hitting them, attempting to beat them up. They stood in front of me, unaffected, and in absolutely no pain. There were no gashes, no bruises, no reactions, just people standing there in front of me, silently staring. These people had hurt me, but instead of taking my pain and investing it into something worthwhile, I was retaliating in an ill-fated attempt to heal my wounds, and I came up short.

When someone offends you, intentionally or unintentionally, you have the choice to remain affected or set that hurt down and move along. You are not weak because someone hurt you. You are not a crybaby, and you are not defective. You are only weak when you take on that hurt as your entire identity and live in fear far too long because of it, like I have done! In the past, I’ve been an expert at allowing hurts to hold me back, but not anymore. It’ll be an ongoing process, and it will be messy, but offense is a heavy burden, so I’m going to take Elsa’s advice and learn to LET IT GO!


April 6

TSO: Dark Side of the Moon: The Music of Pink Floyd

Perot Theatre

7 pm

April 7

Sunset Sinners

Front Street Festival Plaza

6:30 pm

April 8

Emerald City Band

State Line

1 pm

April 13

Moss Brothers Band

Redbone Magic Brewing Company

7 pm

April 20

Mark Owen’s Del Rio Band

Elks Lodge 399

7-11 pm

April 20

Jed Harrelson

1923 Banana Club

8 pm

April 20

Insight the Band

Fat Jacks Oyster & Sports Bar

9 pm

April 26

Danny Mazey

Redbone Magic Brewing Company

7 pm

April 27

Vernon Hinesley

Whiskey River

10 pm

April 27

The Rockafellas

Fat Jacks Oyster & Sports Bar

9 pm


April 4

The Leadership Mind in Focus

Eagle Hall at TAMU-T

8:30 am

April 5-8

Solarbration Events

Downtown Texarkana

April 5-14

Four States Fair and Rodeo

Four States Fairgrounds

April 5-8

Texarkana Museums System will host tours of the Regional Museum of History

April 9

Silver 55+ Bingo

Texarkana Public Library

10 am

April 10

Theatre for Young Audiences

1, 2, 3, Andrés!

Perot Theatre

9:30 am and 12:20 pm

April 11

Farmers Bank Distinguished Speaker: Sugar Ray Leonard

Hilton Garden Inn Texarkana Convention Center

7 pm

April 12

Downtown Live

The Gallery at 1894

6-9 pm

April 17

State of Cities

Crosssties, 8-10 am

April 18

The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Stone Soup Luncheon

First United Methodist Church

11 am-1:30 pm

April 18

Tex*Rep’s Annual Party

Silvermoon on Broad

6 pm

April 18

2 Pianos Downtown benefitting Randy Sams Outreach Shelter


7 pm

April 20

CASA & TCAC’s Colorful 5K and Family Run

Trinity Baptist Church

9 am

April 21

TRAHC’s 31st Annual Student Juried Exhibition Opening Reception

1-3 pm

April 26-27

Fouke Monster Festival

April 27

Battle of the Paddle Pickleball Tournament

Southwest Center

8 am

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