I’ve been thinking about how I got to where I am today. I think it’s an important topic for this blog because so much of what my life is right now it still an adjustment, I am mid evolution from where I was for a long time sure I was headed to the bend in the road that has led me to where I am now and the new vision of life still developing in front of me. It occurs to me that I have done a whole lot of stuff in my life completely ass-backwards. In fact, it often occurs to me that this might be the only way I know how to function. This is why at age 27 I had a nervous breakdown and now at age 30 I’m still putting the pieces back together, figuring out what I want to be when I grow up and how I got to where I am today.
I grew up in a suburb. When my parents moved to the suburb with me, their first child, it was a small, burgeoning town, growing out of its rural roots. It was close enough to the giant metropolitan hub of Toronto but still small and somehow separate from the big city-ness found there. By virtue of this it had become an attractive destination for young families. My primary school experience was a cozy and secure one. Most of my classmates and I began kindergarten together and for the most part graduated to high school together in grade eight. I never had much in common with most of my classmates, but we had all been close, we had grown up together and were loyal to one another. I just assumed that feeling isolated was a natural state of being. I didn’t know there was more out there. I don’t remember a lot from my childhood. Yes it’s weird and yes it’s something I’m examining currently. I've been trying to get myself to write down burgeoning, still fuzzy, and still without much context, memories but I'm having a difficult time getting my fingers to wrap themselves around a pen or enticing my hands to poise themselves above the keyboard to begin.
When I started high school there was a farm bordering the football field. But the suburb was continuing to grow, the farm was torn down to make room for yet more identical houses and our high school population was in the thousands. I did not stay close to my safety-net of grade school classmates for long once I realized how many people there were for me to meet in the new world of high school. The point is, I had a pretty sheltered childhood. This was mostly my own doing, I lived very much in my head, in books, in imagination. I didn’t have much interest in socializing and I enjoyed being alone. I know that this was by my own desire because I watched my younger brother grow up just as social as I was anti, as outgoing as I was fearful of interaction. My parents were so very good at allowing both my brother and I to be our own people, whatever that might mean. I hope that I am strong and brave enough to parent my own children in this way, that I won't be able to is one of the greatest fears of parenthood for me.
As adolescence is so apt to do, it awakened my need to take part in the world around me and I found this world to be much larger than the sleepy suburb I had moved into as a young child. My suburb had become a city unto itself and there was lots to explore. It was the mid 90s, a great time to be a brooding, creative teenager, grunge culture was at its height and Eddie Vedder eloquently read my mind and my soul in his every wrenching lyric.