Monday, November 05, 2007

looking back

In a recent post I was looking back at my twenties and wondering why I'm happier now in my thirties. J and I were discussing it again and he was talking about how when we look back at times in our lives we perceive as difficult, we often don't remember things as they really were. It's almost as if we are looking at someone else with her load of challenges and thinking, "I could never do that." We project onto our past selves what we imagine we would feel now if we suddenly had those challenges. Yes, probably I did that to some extent, when I looked back at my twenties.

Maybe it wasn't so much about the challenges I had, but the way I felt about myself. I think I didn't know myself very well yet and hadn't discovered all my interests. I didn't know how to say no to something that seemed worthwhile and good. I didn't accept myself and I cared too much about what others thought. Not just what others thought about me, but what they thought about anything. I was so easily swayed, so attracted to every bit of perceived wisdom.

I think I may always be that way, to some extent. I am a Greek of Mars Hill, only wanting to tell or hear some new thing. Hey, maybe I'm doing it again. Maybe I haven't changed at all. It's just part of looking at my past self through this skewed perception. Maybe I was very happy in my twenties. Maybe happier than I am now. Who knows?

How's that for navel gazing?


athena said...

ha! i was having some of these thoughts myself. must come around whenever another birthday creeps up. i was thinking how terrible i thought my parents were about certain things but now that i have seen a bit more of the world i am nothing but praises for them because at least they didn't sexually or verbally abuse us. or other terrible things that seem to be the norm in some families. oh yeah, i use to get my ears pulled all the time, but that's beside the point. ;)

dave said...

Going off topic, I just wanted to respond to your comment on my blog last week about those post-Pride & Prejudice bodice rippers. Terrible and hilarious. I think it's funny only because that kind of 'literature' isn't really worthy of contempt. But I imagine it's frustrating with characters you care deeply about.

I think, even though I've really enjoyed Harry Potter, that I'm bothered less about the Dumbledore thing because I don't think she actually can make him gay just by saying it. It's not in the books, and in my perception of him, his sexual orientation is not a defining characteristic. (In other words, I don't really think of him as either hetero or homo; sexuality is not part of his character.)

Can you imagine if Rowling responded like Douglas Adams? THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS MAGIC, KIDS! DUH!