Why do I think of everything?
Is this, “thinking outside the box”?
Maybe, “pushing the envelope”?
It could be that everyone thinks like this, but they don’t tell anyone…
I might possibly just be WEIRD!
When I was a kid, I asked questions – LOTS of questions. My parents didn’t see this question-asking as a “good” thing. They encouraged me…
My parents and I traveled often. The longest time living in any one house was no more than a year or so (and happened once); most of the time, our occupancy in the rental houses spanned from two days to a few months. I was a shy and an admittedly odd child (and I believe myself to be an odd adult, too!), and this endless roaming probably didn’t offer me much of a chance to change or to become the belle-of-the-ball, either. Most of my time was spent with my pets: we always had a dog, sometimes a cat, and my parents surprised me with a pet rat at age eight. I ended up raising these enthusiastic, confident and ecstatically curious pets the rest of my childhood and even as an adult for awhile. The rats’ confidence never “rubbed off on me” (other things did, though!), but their total, curious personalities must have; although I did start my life with an “inquiring mind”, my new pets’ influences seemed to escalate the questions even more.
My questions usually occurred during my parents’ “driving” (huh? can’t imagine why…) and went something like this:
“How many more miles ‘til we get there?” and “How many more miles are left?” (these inquiries occurred usually once each half-hour, but could easily pop up during changes of scenery or after short naps).
“Why do horses eat so much? Do frogs breathe? How many pennies really are in the world? What is gas made of? How did those sea shells get stuck in the road?”
…And so on!
My questions never really ended, and they seemed to be a lot more of the serious variety than those asked of curious two or three year-olds. I also never really believed that I was any different than any other kid (in that respect – I already knew that in all the other ways, I was very – different!), and I was promised that my “affliction” would someday soon – be outgrown.
I waited for that day, I really did. The question-asking felt great and I always had plenty more where all the previous questions originated, but I did believe that I would feel even better (and things would go a lot smoother at home…) once the problem passed. I couldn’t wait (?!?!).
The curiosity didn’t end; I didn’t feel better; and I discovered it wasn’t an illness (not the question-asking, at least).
In fact, I finally came to realize that my questioning nature is another facet of my huge desire to understand the misunderstood; question what doesn’t seem to add up; find truth regardless of what others believe; and find the good when all that I can see at the time seems to be “bad”. I’ve also come to believe and accept that which can’t seem to be proven. This latter “affliction” – which has been the most important one to be stuck with – has allowed me to develop hope in hopeless situations; courage in the face of my worst fears; acceptance of people/situations that are considered “different” (boy, I can identify with that one!); and a determination that refuses to let me give in.
I’m not sure when I realized how a questioning nature could ever bring about all these other “virtues”, “gifts”, “necessities” (possibly not until writing this prompt!), but I’m aware that many of them have been inside me, curing/maturing and seasoning for some time. It takes a long time – years, I’m sure – for all these hard lessons to “ripen” into something resembling the blessings I’ve earned. I also know that it didn’t have to turn out this way: many others who’ve been given a tough road don’t always end up where I’m at. For that, I am grateful.
I’m blessed now because I can feel it; I realize it when I know I can’t walk away from someone who really needs me; when I rise up out of my depression after an especially bad migraine or series of them that repeatedly prevent me from living my life; and when I hang in there in spite of what’s been lost, what I might lose, or how scared I might be. I do have my moments, days and sometimes weeks of desperate isolation; complete negativity; and grounding weakness; I suppose all of us do. But I somehow always rise over it all, ready to go at whatever blocks my view of the wonderful, positive, and light. This I know, is all thanks to my childhood affliction, which I never… outgrew.
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