Is it terrible that I can’t remember any of my childhood dreams. Those dreams that come to mind while laying in a hammock under a tree, staring up through the leaves. What did I want to be, to where did I want to travel… I know that there were dreams that passed through my childhood head. I do remember some of the things I loved to do. I suppose that they inspired my dreams:
I loved to…..
- read Encyclopedia Brown books. These were books I bought as I went through elementary school. Every month, or couple of months, the teachers would pass out order forms, to order paperback books. Encyclopedia Brown was a kid detective. Those books kept me entertained for hours. I was so inspired by Encyclopedia Brown that I opened my own “agency” in the crawl space under our apartment building.
- ride my bike everywhere. I grew up in a small central Maine city on the banks of the Penobscot River. By the time I was old enough to get around on a bike, I had the city as a playground. I would ride my bike from one side to the other, going downtown and out to the airport, to watch the Air Force planes land. My favorite thing to do was haunt the library. I was a great sandstone building with a glass rotunda. I loved that library. Most of the librarians knew me by name. I would go to story hour on Friday afternoons regularly. love for reading was nutured there.
- I read World Book encyclopedia for fun.
- I would listen to the radio. I built my own studio with a kiddie record player, a cassette tape recorder and microphone, which was taped to a wooden dowel. I had a handful to 45 rpm singles and I’d mimick the disc jockeys I heard on radio. At night, I would listen to my Panasonic “puke green” AM table radio, searching the dial for any station I could find. Most were the 50,000 watt clear channel stations that you could hear all over – WBZ in Boston, WTIC in Hartford, CT; WABC and WNBC in New York City, WLS in Chicago, WOWO in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, WWWE in Cleveland (where I would hear black gospel preachers on Sunday evenings), and KMOX in St. Louis. I know there were others, but time has faded that memory.
Why do I write about my childhood memories? Because they help define the person I am today. All of these things made me who I am right now. But there was a time when I lost sight of who I was. I allowed myself to abandon those things I loved in favor of more practical endeavors. I continue to struggle with these issues of identity and self-worth, but with the help of friends I was able to understand how I could get back in touch with that person. My good friend, The Squire is experiencing the same challenges right now. He recently lost his job, which triggered some nasty stuff that was tucked away in his brain. He has lost his self confidence, his sense of self worth, has diffiuclty seeing the wonderful things that make up his character, and he feels he’s let people down.
Go back to the archives, scan back 6-9 months ago and read some of my posts. I was experiencing the same things. I later understood that I ws depressed and sought help for that. I was having difficulty seeing the positive aspects of my life, just as my friend is. I wanted the pain of being alone to stop, just as he wants to feel whole again and understand what is happening. He is a good friend and he helped my in my darkest hours. I want to do the same for him. I want to help him see the person who loves to home brew beer, has a passion for history, cooking, classic cars, gardening and plants and so much more – all things he is having difficulty seeing. Unfortunately all his dreams, at the moment, are anything but pleasant. I want them to be sweet again.
It sucks when your past haunts you at times and places you least expect. I know we all carry baggage. Most of us make the choice to lighten our load, do the work and rid ourselves of this baggage. Some are fearful of taking the risk and remain stuck. Others want to change, but give up when the work needed is more than they are willing to handle. This requires honesty and an understanding of self. If you can be honest with yourself about your faults and failures, and are willing to recognize they are a part of who you are, then you’ve done a huge chunk of work. It’s an ongoing process – no quick fixes, magic pills or elixirs.
Taking care of ourselves is a full-time job.