Last night, late night, lying in bed, I found myself in the glow of the TV screen. Watching that British Netflix series, "Bad Education." Maybe you've seen it. A group of misfits, teachers more flawed than their students. Comedy, sure, but there's something underneath. A layer of grit, of realness.
And there it was—like a ghost you don't quite see but feel—a thought snuck up on me. How the hell does our childhood shape us so much? I mean, these kids in the show, they're screwing up, fighting their way through adolescence. But it's more than just teenage angst. You can almost see the clay being molded, can see these young faces turning into the adults they'll become. With all their quirks, flaws, fears. The whole mess.
The Subconscious Labyrinth
What's striking is how this happens on the down-low, in the dark alleys of your mind. You don't get a memo saying, "Hey, that thing that happened when you were 7? It's why you can't hold a relationship now." Nope. It's more subtle. Like an echo you can't place, but you know you've heard before.
You know, I used to think that we're blank slates. Tabula rasa, they call it. A page waiting to be written on. But it's not like that, is it? It’s as if the ink bleeds through from previous pages—pages you didn't even know you had. Sometimes I think about my own pages. My mom, never present since the divorce while I was just one. Dad, with his temper. What imprints have they left? And more importantly, are those imprints forever? Are they scars or just... smudges?
Forgotten but Not Gone
For the life of me, I can't remember my 8th birthday. I've seen photos, though. There I am, a slice of cake in front of me, candles flickering. I'm smiling, but it's a tight smile. Forced. What was happening in that moment? What was going through my young mind? Forgotten, yes, but is it gone? Doubt it.
You see, even the stuff we've forgotten, it's like sediment at the bottom of a river. You don't see it, but it shapes the course of the water. It's why sometimes you feel a sudden anger, an irrational fear, a strange compulsion. You're not just you; you're a collection of everything that’s happened to you. And some of that stuff, it's still happening, even if you've "moved on."
A Way Out?
What I'm trying to get at is, can we get out of it? Is there a way to not just be a product of your past? I wish I had a neat answer, tied up with a bow. But I don't. All I've got are questions.
Maybe, just maybe, the first step is acknowledging it. The scars, the sediment. And understanding that it's not just about looking back but also peering ahead. The road forward is shaped by what’s behind, sure, but you're still the one driving. And maybe, if you know your own shape—a shape you didn’t entirely choose—you can start to reshape it. Start to choose.
Until then, another episode is queued up. More misfits navigating through life. And as I watch, I wonder about their futures, about my future. And I keep asking myself, "What makes me me?"
Yeah, what makes any of us, us?
I am MrWildy and I am trying to journal more about my life and also my travels. Find out more about me here.