Reality Bites by James A. Norton

After an extended vacation, it’s good to be back in the ‘Ville…

In the last four or five weeks that I have been absent from writing my column here, I have kept myself busy, to say the least. I spent over a week on vacation in the Dominican Republic, found out my daughter and her husband will be blessing our us with another granddaughter, furthered my career in both real estate and writing/editing and I took the time I needed to make a personal assessment of how I view different people who are and are not a part of my daily life. Busy indeed.

I have also come to the conclusion that you cannot fight how people perceive you as a human being. When it comes to living your life, you need to care less about what others think of you and care more about staying true to yourself. Yes, I realize I am being vague again, but it isn’t because I am trying to send a message to someone. Those people I might have cared about sending messages in days gone by are all dead to me now. Bye.

A week or two before I went on vacation I, along with many of you, watched the controversy on several different social media platforms surrounding a list created by a woman who lived in Somerville for a short time while she went to Tufts a few years back which was titled “21 Things Only Somerville Locals Understand.” There was outrage by “old school” people far and wide – striking back and lashing out at the author. I have to tell you, I was a bit surprised. Most of the “rebuttals” I saw on YouTube and Facebook centered around a history lesson of sorts, which wasn’t the intent of the original article at all.

It was very telling for two very specific reasons: first, the intent of the original article was meant in a good-spirited way and should not have been attacked as it was; second, the pain and resentment that has become the byproduct of gentrification bubbles up to the surface every once in a while, but rarely as in your face as it was immediately following this article going semi-viral. I would have to assume that anyone on the outside looking in must think that there is a great divide in this city. The old school, the old guard and the real deal ‘Villens versus the newcomers, the hipsters, the earthy-crunchies and even the Barneys. That doesn’t seem appealing, does it?

Over the next month or two I am going to compile, with the help of a few other ‘Villens, a list or two of things Somerville locals, both old and new, will feel as though are more relevant to a span of time which will touch on both old and new school ideas of what Somerville is like, where it came from, and whether you like it or not, where it is going. It should be fun.

In the meantime, keep yourself out of trouble, stay out of other people’s business and be a better person, always – it will come back to you, just believe. I do. #GMK

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.