Making a Difference
IN MY OPINION
Books Read in 2007
My Favorite Video Blogs
(for others, see Links page)
Steve Irwin Meets Ross the Intern
Volcanic Eruption 4/2/07
Polar Bear Cub
Interpretation of Leviticus 18
They Had It Coming
Support liberty and justice for all
13 April 2007
My friend Ron has 9 years in sobriety and writes this great intelligent, witty, insightful journal. This morning he mentioned, in speaking about his recovery, that he "was born one way but have flourished in another," and that in terms of emotional age, he's only about 9.
(I can hardly wait until he hits his emotional puberty. Groan!)
It made me think about people who approach a certain age--whatever that age might be--and realize that more of their life is behind them than is ahead of them, and long, wistfully, to go back and do it all again.
Am I one of them?
I think there is a reason why we pass through these ages, hopefully picking up some wisdom along the way. You reach a certain point and look back and realize that you life has been about learning and that you are the product of the things you have learned all along the way.
(And if you feel your life has been f**ked up by your mother, as I was informed recently [hopefully jokingly], that you have learned from and grown from that experience!)
I think about the innocent I was as I went through my teens. Lord, was I innocent. I remember when I told my then-boyfriend that I loved him, and was frustrated when he responded "prove it," because I couldn't think of anything specific that I wasn't already doing to prove how much I loved him. Even when he later broke up with me, alluding to my reluctance to prove that I loved him, I didn't get it. I was an adult, if you can believe it, before I had an a-ha moment and realized what he meant back when I was 14.
My parents and all the nuns and priests in Catholic school had so thoroughly drummed into my head that premarital sexual activity of any kind was wrong and it just wasn't even on the radar screen. Heck, petting (does anybody still us that term any more?) wasn't even on the radar screen. Anything below the neck was strictly taboo.
When I was in high school we used to have "retreats," where the priest would try to instill religious sentiments in us. During the inevitable Q&A the main question was always how far you could push the limits of physical interaction with your boyfriend and still be a Good catholic girl. Some of the girls were quite inventive with their suggested loopholes!
This guy and I were both good Catholics (he's now a Jesuit) and not only did unmarried Catholics not do that, we were never even tempted to do it. Or so I believed.
Later, in college, I truly believed that when Walt and I spent the night in a motel with friends of ours, and the friends shared a bed in the next room (while Walt and I were in sleeping bags on the floor of the living area), that they were just sleeping. Because we were all Catholics and Catholics never did anything like that before marriage.
I laugh now when I remember how often I thought, on someone's wedding day, that "so-and-so won't be a virgin tomorrow," realizing, now, that the passage out of virginity had taken place long before the actual wedding.
I started kindergarten a year younger than all of my classmates, which meant that I was always physically at least a year younger than all of my friends. I can still remember vividly standing in the school yard, in the center of a tight ring of girls who were all sticking their hands down my middy blouse to feel my flat chest and to laugh because they all had started developing breasts.
I remember the secret room on the top floor of my Catholic grammar school, which the nuns would never discuss and which we were forbidden to visit, but which was reserved for the 7th and 8th grade girls (because it had a Kotex machine in it, and we little girls weren't to know about that).
My naiveté has continued throughout most of my life, I suspect. It wasn't until some time after the departure of one of our Brasilian students that I realized that the reason his behavior was so bizarre was that he was high most of the time. My father had instilled such a terror of drugs of any sort in me that I went all through the 60s on the campus of UC Berkeley without so much as trying a marijuana cigarette, so I had no experience with drugs. But many years after the guy left, one of our other students talked to me about having smoked marijuana while living in our house and it all made sense. How dumb they must have thought I was.
Because I was. I'm sure I still am.
I don't even want to know about all the wool my own kids pulled over my eyes. I'm sure I'd be shocked to discover what really went on that they managed to convince me didn't happen.
I've learned a thing or two along this path of my life, some lessons easier to learn than others. But to go back and do it all over again? Absolutely no way.
There is a
reason why this thing called "life" is a one-way street.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
This is entry #2570