28 June 2006

Being a Brat

Have you ever had an experience that was like having a flashlight shone into a forgotten corner of your life? It's not like looking into a closet or a room that's been closed off. Instead, this area of your life is just a small, unexplored and under-utilized space that has accumulated dust, clutter and easy-to-ignore debris.

My sister and her family are currently living in Geilenkirchen, Germany which just happens to be about 5 minutes away from the place where my family lived for 4 years when I was an adolescent. Last week, she visited the school that I attended (actually we both went to school there) from 8th grade through the end of my junior year of high school. She was hoping that there might be a chance that her daughter could go there as well.

S's visit to our old school has inspired a great deal of nostalgia, for both of us. Today she referred me to the website for a documentary on the lives of military brats. What's funny is that I don't really think much about being a military brat. When I came back to the US for my senior year of high school, I quickly learned that no one wanted to know about the things that I had seen and experienced prior to my arrival in the Ohio suburbs. Talk of life or travels in Europe was more likely to alienate than intrigue. I also found myself completely lacking in understanding of many pop-culture references that my peers took for granted.

Reading the comments on the documentary's website, was a little like having a light suddenly flipped on in a shadowed corner of my life. All of a sudden, the dust and cobwebs are in stark contrast. And I'm finding that the shadows are concealing an alcove that I didn't know or had forgotten was there. This isn't the first time that I've explored the lasting consequences of my upbringing in the pages of my blog, it just seems like interesting timing to have it resurface. I've decided to actually seek professional treatment for depression. Perhaps I should make notes on all this stuff to take with me when I meet my new therapist.

1 comment:

Daria de la Luna said...

You know, I've always thought your upbringing & worldliness were huge assets & I have always really looked up to you, but I can see your point. For me, being raised by semi-hippie anarchists has had some similar consequences. I don't even know how to be one of the people who sit by the pool sipping wine coolers and chatting about their manicures. Usually, I think this is a good thing. Sometimes, though, I feel a wistful longing for the ability to identify with that mindset. I guess I think I might be more organized or something if I'd grown up differently. But, think of all the things I woud be missing from my person. Hmm...yes, definitely fodder for further exploration.