I enjoy re-living in the past
Dissecting my life as it was has always been more interesting than thinking about the future. What might be over the horizon concerned me only when it came into view. I’d worry about it when it got here. Until then everything would take care of itself. Besides, what could you do? Though I savor my successes or triumphs I also have regrets but I’m beyond wanting to go back to correct my(many) mistakes. That assumes that while doing so I could retain all my present knowledge and I’m not into creating alternate fantasy universes. But I am more than willing, overly eager if you will, to sit down with anyone who was there with me to figure out what we were thinking/doing at the time that specifically caused us(me) to end up here. What I have learned is most people are not willing to cooperate. They make very similar statements along the lines of “that was so long ago!”. For me it seems as if it was just like last week and I clearly recall all those other people being there also.
What’s so special then about this “past” of mine?
Nothing dramatic or spectacular really. I believe the development into whatever I am now can be viewed as a linear sequence of events. I see where I am now as a straight line from where I started. Sharp turns or detours haven’t occurred. The progression from infancy into childhood>adolescence>early adulthood are what (I believe) matters most in forming a person’s identity. I went thru all those phases while living in the stereotypical small town environment. The kids I knew starting in the first grade are the same group I graduated with 12 years later. That’s what happens when you have a single set of schools for everyone in a 10-15 mile radius. The same is true for the townspeople; I knew most everyone and they knew me (still do if they are alive though I haven’t lived there in 30 years). So if anyone can help me understand or fill in the pieces I might have missed at the time it’s that core group of people.
So what did I miss or think I missed that I need to know?
My life up until I turned 18 might be described as “sheltered”. No mental or physical abuse, no real drama, angst or open conflict of any type, living an ordinary middle class existence. However my parents were able to construct and maintain an impenetrable barrier around my sister and I to keep away anyone and anything they considered undesirable, unpleasant or otherwise detrimental to our well being as they saw it. I think I knew we were restricted compared to my peers but I can’t claim to have suffered at the time because of it. What saved it from being an oppressive situation was inside that circle of protection we were allowed free thought with full access to anything we could detect with our five senses. As a youngster(thanks to my parents), I was exposed to the wonders and joys of the library and encouraged to spend as much time there as I wanted. This allowed me to learn about the world that was hidden from me including every evil, vice, crime, fetish or bad behavior humanity was capable of without knowing anyone who actually engaged in those activities. This method was ultimately safer than living some of the scenarios first hand but it was the slow path to learning about the ways of the world. Maybe because of this early unlimited exposure and the time to develop on my own opinions, I think I’m far more open minded than my parents intended. I never felt them trying to drill their set of beliefs into us – most admonitions against wrong thinking or actions were delivered matter-of-factly, as if we knew not to question their word. And we didn’t or at least I didn’t until my 18th birthday. That’s when I really felt I got to know some of the people I’d grown up with for so long. Two years later(age 20 headed off for my Jr. year of college) I was gone.
(read my March 25, 2006 entry for additional juicier details)
Wanting to understand what was going on outside the barrier in the lives of others is the missing part I’m in search of.