Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Pivotal Moments: Where did I grow up?

Pivotal Moments in my mind are moments that we may use to define ourselves or for some reason if we made a timeline of our life would end up being present. They are often insignificant or not remembered by others. They may be totally made up in our minds. Positive or negative we all seem to have times like this. This post includes one of those times for me. When I think of the relationships with my family I have now, and they are the best they have ever been, this is a time that defined me. I love my family and am grateful that they are mine and call me theirs. I am grateful that I can be open with them and they are open with me. Even though negative times seem to bother us thinking this over helped my to understand why I may have had some of the perceptions I have.

Where did I grow up?
When meeting a new person there are many questions that are considered acceptable to ask there are also some that are not welcomed by some people. Usually acceptable questions are easy to answer and may give a little information about a person but would hopefully lead to more conversation or deeper insight to that person. One common question, that may seem easy for people to answer is “where did you grow up?”. This question should not be hard to answer yet it makes me uncomfortable or like can not give a simple answer and be totally honest. The problem may lie in the question. The asker may be wondering where the majority of your childhood years were spent, where you spent your ‘formative’ teenage years, or even where you left home. All the different answers a person could be looking for cause me to be overwhelmed because I can not give a straight answer that is simple without explanation. My remembered childhood years are almost divided exactly in half. I spend early childhood until age 9 in Lawrence, Kansas. I then moved to Logan, Utah where I graduated high school and eventually that was the home I left from. Either answer would seem to suffice in multiple occasions. However when I think about the question ‘where did I grow up?’ I can not help but think the easiest way to find out where is to know when. This thought process has led me to believe neither of these is the correct answer.
The correct answer is Hyrum, Utah and here is why. I previously did not mention that I even lived in Hyrum but I did, for a few short months. These months were confusing for me. I remember coming to the realization that my parents were not perfect and in fact could really hurt each other emotionally. I saw and heard my grandparents act in ways that seemed out of character. I saw people act against what I saw as logical. Seeing the world in a more realistic and sometimes pessimistic way is part of growing up.
The way I interacted with my brothers and parents also changed. My parents both became distant and consumed in their own problems. I consistently felt protective of my brothers. There were things I did not want them to feel and in turn, I tried to hide things from them. I spent more time entertaining them then I had in the past. We would get up early in the morning and exercise in front of the TV, I do not even know where my parents were, before this time in my life I do not remember the lack of an adult. As a person matures relationships with those around them change by necessity and because of desire this was the case in Hyrum.
I went to school and Lincoln elementary for a short while in Hyrum and this also caused me to have new and different experiences contributing to the idea of Hyrum being where I grew up. Firstly my brother and I had to share a backpack. I remember my Dad giving me an old grey backpack and telling me and my brother we had to share because we were too poor to each have one. It was humiliating to me. I had never felt poor, or that I could not be like other kids but being told we could not afford something made me look at myself differently and made me act differently. I remember letting my brother wear the backpack to school and then I would drop him off at his class then take the backpack so other kids wouldn’t know that I did not have one of my own.
I believe a child is able to express who they are more realistically partially because they do not have problems with being different and they do not see the differences between themselves and others. This situation along with what would be changing in my home life totally made me feel like an outsider and if I wanted to fit in I had to show people something that did not feel truly me.
While at Lincoln, I made some friends who encouraged me to do things that were against the rules. My previous friends did not encourage to do something just because it was ‘bad’. There was a shed at Lincoln that kids would write their names on during recess. A teacher would try a and stand by it to discourage and catch kids when they would attempt. My ‘friends’ told me how impressive this feat would be, if I could accomplish it. For the first time in my memory I consciously chose to do something wrong. I also did not get caught. My peers ran and hid so when I finished there wasn’t even anyone to congratulate me. I went home waiting to get in trouble or a call from the school and nothing but my own guilt bothered me.
Hyrum, Utah will probably never be the answer to where I grew up when people ask, but emotional and psychologically there is a pretty good case for the loss of innocence and the beginning for a new understanding of life.

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