I don’t have a memory of thinking, “when I grow up...” It often baffles me when young children and adults know exactly what they want and have a clear dream and are able to go after it. It’s great to see this; it’s just something quite foreign to me.
Growing up, I wanted to halt time, to make it stand still because growing up meant I would soon lose my mother to her battle with cancer. And even though she was difficult to be around at times, and got angrier as the days dragged on, unable to muster the energy to get out of bed, still—I didn’t want to lose her—her world that became my world. My child mind knew she would soon die, but I stuffed that reality away, locked it up, pretended it wasn’t so.
And the day came, bringing me deeper still into my private world to hold the pain. Out of many years of mayhem, rebellion, and bad experiences, when I finally came up for air from what seemed a sort of depression, confusion: Reality—I found myself on a path—a path that seemed to find me or did I find it?—a path to growing whole. I still don’t consider that I have “grown up” entirely. But I still love collecting the pieces that I keep finding, and in my own way, making the story whole by writing and sharing pieces. A light went on for me just yesterday that the very act of scavenging in the past and the future brings me to the present in a more recognizable whole, that is part of a much larger whole.