I can remember back pretty far. Really early, it’s mostly snippets and pieces, but it goes back to somewhere around 4 years old. I place my age by where I was living at the time, and we were living in a tiny, little, one-bedroom duplex–my mom slept in the living room on the couch–on the West Side of Columbus. I can remember quite a few things from this space in my memory: crossing the street to sign up for school, getting scalding hot canned ravioli spilled on me, waking up on top of the refrigerator–I was a weird kid–but the most prominent of the memories from that time of my life is a nightmare.
I’m in our place, and there’s something after me–a body-less, aggressive, phantom determined to get me somehow. I can feel it wherever I go, and my mother is there trying to pack me a bag and get me out, but whatever the thing is keeps ripping things from the bag and destroying them. I’m terrified, and there’s no where to go. I can’t leave.
I can see that nightmare very clearly, even still, the mark it made on me was so strong. The fear that I felt within lingers, and that nightmare pretty clearly and efficiently outlines how I felt about the majority of my childhood: trapped, helpless, desperate.
As you might imagine, unlike many other people, I don’t look back on my childhood with fondness because of this. When I remember my childhood…sure, there are some good memories, but the overarching feeling of my childhood–that helplessness–I have absolutely no desire to get back to it. Being an adult, and the control that gives me over my own destiny…now THAT’S living.
As an adult, I’ve made a lot of mistakes. But I try my best, I travel, learn, and I can rectify my own mistakes. I think this will be the start of me examining my mistakes…and celebrating my successes.