I was a quirky kid. My thoughts were big. When I went to bed at night my thoughts were on things like infinity and time and death and how the universe could just go on forever. Didn’t everything have an end?
I remember a specific night becoming so overwhelmed with my thoughts I cried. I was at my grandmother’s house. Scared and seeking comfort, I went downstairs. When asked what was wrong, I lied and I told her my throat hurt. This ignited her worry gene. She needed to get me to a doctor. What if I had strep throat or scarlet fever?
I am not sure how that night ended except to say that I know I did not go to the doctor and I also know I learned to never tell anyone about my thoughts. They were thoughts much too big for a little mind.
Thinking Vs. Curiosity
I was a child of the science fiction age. Outer Limits, The Twilight Zone, The Time Tunnel, Night Gallery, The Time Machine, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and on and on. I became obsessed with time travel.
This scene and my love of costumes (see my earlier post) certainly fed my creative curiosity:
It was certainly a time of big imaginations. I had a Kreskin ESP game although I acknowledge I never gained any extrasensory perception.
High School and Beyond
My mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer when I was in my final year of high school. It was tough. I started to search for reasons and explanations to answer all the why questions I had.
I read Sydney Omarr’s horoscope column religiously.
I always had deep thoughts. My term paper in high school was entitled The Nonexistence of Time for which I received an A- (I omitted a comma somewhere along the way). I don’t think my teacher thought I could pull off the references needed, but I managed.
I bought a crystal ball, I was intrigued with seances and bought books on astral projection — is that even a thing now?
I was in the military when my mother passed away. I went home for her funeral. I was broken. Being in the military you aren’t really given time or space to grieve. I was only 19 and all I wanted was to be home with my family.
I think the losses in my life were big. I took them hard and didn’t really know how to grieve. Once you label yourself as broken — or others label you as such — you begin to believe it. You start to search for how to fix what’s wrong.
I saw a therapist who was happy to prescribe anti-depressants. I never took them. Somehow I knew I was not depressed. I searched so many self-help books thinking if I could follow the thoughts of others I might turn that final corner that would make me whole again.
Then one day it hit me. What if I was not broken? What if I was normal? What if self-help books helped make me believe I was somehow lost?
I will say there are a number of books that really helped me and many that are a godsend to others. I am not saying self-help books are bad, for some are worth their weight in gold. All I am saying is what if I just had some hard stuff to deal with and had no way to process my way through it? What if it was easier to think of myself as missing a piece of me and if I could just find it I could be whole again?
So one day, I just decided to embrace myself and love me for me. I resolved problems or situations singularly instead of believing I had those problems because of some flaw. I started to remember the little girl who had big thoughts and just did not know what to do with those thoughts. She was the same little girl that watched her mother slowly die of cancer and was not given space to grieve.
I started to value myself enough to leave bad relationships. I stood up for myself. I learned I could live on my own and be perfectly happy. Once I knew that about me, the right person entered my life.
Embracing My Authentic Self
I love to think big now. I love my imagination. I still fancy the idea of time travel and to this day never underestimate the power of a 1979 penny to whisk me back to reality.
I give myself room to grieve. Losses are still hard and I have lost a lot — a downside to the blessing of living a longer life. Unfortunately, it is part of this thing we call life.
I am not afraid to be me any longer. I like me. No, no, I love me. I am not broken — just human and not in need of fixing.