My childhood is one that I remember mostly with fondness, except for moments of painful shyness mostly, I do not have a lot of bad memories as a child, something which as I grow older I am thankful for, and I realize that not everyone has that. For many it is a dark time of life, and as such it is a stark reminder of the monstrosities that lie within the human heart that most of the darkness is caused by adults. Most of the horrors that befall children are caused by adults, whether it is through wars, man-induced famines, greed, and so forth, most of the time, it is adults and the adult world which brings harm to children. Even as a child I think I realized this, and it was not the bogyman or ghost that frightened me, it was adult human beings that frightened me mostly. But, I am getting a little off track here. Suffice it to say, my own good childhood gives me a reason to work towards the same for children now that I have grown into an adult myself. I remember enough of what it was like to be a child to know that it is not only a big scary world, sometimes it can also be enchanting. It is easy to remember the frightening times, and no doubt the world has become quite a scary place to be, but there were also a number of delightful times as well.
It is a funny thing for me to write about something that seems almost like another lifetime, one that I may have a distant thread of connection to, but for the most part it feels as though some other person lived it, not me. It feels more akin to something I read in a book perhaps than living memory, and perhaps it would remain so if I did not fight to keep wonder alive. I think a large part of what I wrote about in my stories has been not only for the future hope, the exploration of present beauty, but also to preserve the memories of the one that once was, my own childhood self. Undoubtedly, age, experience, and the raw brutality of life itself has altered me, and I cannot say whether or not is entirely for the better. I think I have developed more patience now, and that is a good thing. Patience is so much more than not getting frustrated when someone holds you up in line or something, though that is part of patience, patience is what allows for one to hold onto hope for seven years or more, to forgive, etc. Patience is more of a lifestyle than a moment lived, it is something that has to work itself through ones daily life and the whole of one’s way of life. But again, I am getting off subject.
I sometimes think, now that I look back upon it, that I was an odd sort of child. I do remember that I could be fiercely protective if I felt something was a threat to my friends or family. There is a small part of me that misses the recklessness this would give me, I feel now that I have no true conviction after learning time after time that my conviction was the wrong conviction, I hesitate to say that any conviction is worth fierceness. This isn’t right, and truly there are definitely things worth standing for. I know that. Curiously it isn’t the things I am against that I struggle with, it is the things that I love, including love itself that I have a hard time holding conviction towards. What I think it is is that I have fallen under the spell that somethings are too good to be true. I can’t exactly say when it happened, but I think I have at least a suspicion of well-intentioned but woefully misguided teachings in certain groups and such, some of which I had been sort of a part of. Not really paying super close attention, but still picking up things. Needless to say I think now that denying ones emotions is dangerous indeed. Sorry, sorry, getting off subject again. As it turns out the subject of one’s childhood affects one in many areas indeed.
It is a complex subject, true, one which could take the rest of my life to attempt to place into words. All in all, I still find myself asking what it is that is childhood, is it a set of years, or a state of mind? I think perhaps it is a bit of both, but there is certainly a point where we grow up, and wish to or not, become adults. I think perhaps what is perhaps best is to hold a measure of child-likeness, while fully embracing the adult self as well. It is not good to be a cranky old monster of an adult, nor a childish one, and it is a tragedy for a child to be forced into adulthood too soon. For myself, I sometimes feel as though my teenage years were lost to me, but I do not feel robbed of them, in some ways I am glad for it, that I had to grow up a little more quickly and face things I wasn’t ready for. I think it has given me an ability to understand other people a bit more, and because it seems as though they were lost to me, I understand the confusion of trying to make sense of everything, because some of these things were simply delayed a bit and I’ve had to face them much more recently. However, all in all, I feel ready to grow up, not to forget what it is like, but to move on myself to new places and responsibilities.
In short, the whole process of growing up from childhood to adulthood is a confusing one, and a journey that I think is different for every person, sometimes I feel like society expects a person’s personal development to be on schedule, and people grow up differently. They’re not cookie-cutter objects that behave exactly alike. Truth is, I’m still learning things, and finding things to be confusing, and still have places to grow up in myself. Perhaps we never really stop.