I hear – more often than not – people referring to their childhood as “The good ol’ days.” In fact, many go as far as to say they wish they could return to the uncomplicated times of their youth. Go back to the ages of simplicity, free of all responsibility and obligations that lay in the present. The tasteful years, we could simply be the careless people we were. Completely unfettered from the cumbrances the world tends to burden us with as we grow older and increasingly aware. At least, that is what I hear. I, however, have never experienced such pleasantries that nostalgia holds for many. Truth be told, I had a good childhood.. In my less than conscious, adolescent mind, that is. Looking back, that “good”, I so desperately want to remember, has since faded beyond repair.
Allow me to sculpt a visual for you of a young and unharnessed Daisy Gamble. Unquenchably energetic, the past self I still cringe at the thought of to this day, was disheveled a majority of her- okay, pretty much always- in a cluttered appearing state. She had matted spools of blonde hair to the small of her back, a keen sense of style in any and every imaginable color, and a rounded, poochy stomach. This juvenile me held tightly the go, go, go motto; always on the move and ready for the next adventure. She always attempted at her best amusement of any situation, but regularly became weary of the disclusion and, unintentional chastisement that occurred; the beginnings of what my current anxiety is very much centered around.
Although very much desirous for the approval of my peers, my over-eager and unknowledgeable nature, in the ways of what was popular and relevant, proved to be far too much of a turnoff for the enjoyment of company, in a bulk of my family’s friend groups. As much as I develop as a person, a woman, and a follower of Christ, I acknowledge the reality that no matter how much forgiveness I reach for, those moments that severed some healthy bit of me, could very well remain a permanent member of my broken heart. I simply cannot undo what I have experienced and what I remember so vividly. I can still feel the stares I received reaching for a second pizza, while my limber brother reached for a fifth. I can still hear the laughter that erupted from the close-knit groups I was under, no circumstances, to enter. I can still see the looks on the faces of the team I was placed on- last, of course. Every event, every gathering, and every party, I had to fight to be included in the plans of the people I considered my friends for seven years.
Little did I know, that long-held pact of rejection would not cease to continue as people matured, I changed, or my family was relocated. No, not in the least bit. I have yet to experience growth with any of the persons of my past. If anything, there has been degression. I thought I was unwanted as a child but as a young adult I was completely unwelcome. Years after our transportation, I received harsher treatment than I even recall drawing as a kid from the same, unknowing souls. I was blatantly avoided by the mass, rejected from activities, and evoked nothing but indifference upon departure. While these events do leave me with somewhat of a PTSD of my younger days, believe it or not, the people who inflicted such tauntings are not the object of my insecurity or resentment. Quite the opposite, actually.
Truthfully, the only person I have ever, successfully, held a grudge on is myself. I have never been one to blame the world for the struggles of my life or hold on to severe anger against another person, but regarding myself the rules get tossed aside all too quickly. Sometimes I feel like I have a real vendetta against myself. As if my mind is ready to prosecute before a trial has even been conducted. I do not mean to inflict such irrationality upon myself but it has subconsciously become a defense mechanism of mine, in the most self-destructive way. Most people find fault in and accuse others when they are confronted with having to take responsibility for their, not so wise, actions. I, on the other hand, instinctively blame myself. My younger self holds no exception to the matter, either. My opinion of me as a child is less than polite, to put it delicately. Over the years, I have increasingly become aware of how I truly was like and the personality I now shudder at the mention of. The personality that I have harbored contemptuous feelings towards for years.
Really, though, how realistic is it to expect to be content with every piece of our lives and ourselves? To be perfectly content with the way we are or were? I, for one, do not buy into it. I am not going to sit here and believe that in order to live a full and meaningful life, I have to be appeased with a person I find no pleasure in claiming as myself. That is the exact thing I refuse to believe, as well. It is not me. I am not the actions or words of my past. They do not have a right to hold a bearing on my present. There is not one, single being on this God forsaken planet that has not grown since a certain period in time. A time where they were not necessarily the person they are to this day. I think that is the beauty of mankind. We have the ability to completely transform over such a, seemingly, brief moment in time. We have the ability to not only change from the people we were, completely, but also move on. Life doesn’t always hand us the unfolding of events in the way or order we desire. Sometimes, we just don’t get that cloud-parting, internally glorifying ease that is so often associated with closure. That certainly does not mean we are frozen in time, doomed to live a timeless life, or some melodramatic crap like that. No, we hold more strength than we give ourselves credit for. Rather than the ambition of our restoration being closure, I think we should strive for indulgence. Indulge in the splendors of life, the wonders of human interaction, and the capacity for forgiveness. We do not have to love every aspect of our journey as people. That does not mean it was not necessary.
How do you feel about your past? Do you struggle with any hardened feelings against yourself? Why do you feel we blame ourselves for some of the pains of our lives? As always, I would love any feedback, aka, questions, comments, or concerns (if not, you should be…….). I shall return Friday!
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