Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Child's Worries in the Grand Scheme of Things

If only I could go back in time and reassure my young self of worries that would eventually evaporate into nothing. This post is very closely related to my post on Fitting In.

I remember bounding ahead of my mom while she shopped in a department store. Eventually I realized that I had separated myself from my mom and she was nowhere to be found (by me). So I started crying and eventually my mom showed up. Too bad I couldn't tell myself that of course my mom wouldn't just forget about me in a department store. Looking back, it was quite a small hiccup, in the grand scheme of things. These days, if I got lost in a department store....well, I might cry, but that would be because I'd be bored to death in a labyrinthine department store stocked full of boring things like clothes and perfume. I wonder if it would have made a difference if we'd had cell phones back then and I knew my mom's number? Of course, if my mom had had a cell phone back then, she'd be pretty easy to spot due to the giganticity of computer circuits back then.

In elementary school I, like most kids, worried about having cool shoes and clothes and stuff. In the grand scheme of things, this was utterly miniscule. What an insignificant thing to worry about. If only I could send a message to my past self saying to not worry one bit about such things.

My parents switched me to a private school in the middle of my 6th grade year. I remember being extremely stressed about attending a new school where I didn't know anyone. Would I make friends? Would I be accepted? The day or two before I started attending the private school, I remember lying very mopingly on the couch. Apparently my stress had made itself known, because my mom noticed. She asked if someone was threatening to beat me up at school or something. No, no, I was just worrying about insignificant stuff, stuff that ultimately would end up not mattering.

Every now and then we'd have no-uniform days. If I had a cool shirt to wear, the no-uniform day would be no problem. If I didn't...stress and worry, albeit in a much reduced form. Why didn't I just put on some jeans and throw on a shirt and be done with it???

I had some of these same stresses later on when I started attending a different school in 10th grade (the private school had only gone up through 9th grade back then). However, my sense of self was a bit more established, and I didn't feel nearly as stressed as I did during the 6th grade switch.

Eventually I did stop worrying so much about what others thought of me. Thank goodness. So what's the point of this post? I don't know. I don't think my posts necessarily have to have a point. It's not like you pay me to do this, although if you did pay me to do this, I would make a point to make a point and give you summarizing sound bites (bytes?).

I wonder how many of the currently-worried-about things will seem like dust in the wind 10 or 20 years from now? Thankfully though, I'm not really constantly worrying about much these days, even though I have more responsibilities now than I ever have had in my short life. Strange how that works.

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  • Birdie

    "I wonder how many of the currently-worried-about things will seem like dust in the wind 10 or 20 years from now?"

    Nearly everything you worry about today will seem insignificant in 10 to 20 years. On the other hand, it sounds like when it comes to worry, you've been practicing for parenthood most of your life. ;) Children really do give you plenty to worry about!

  • Iris

    The summer before I started at HT, for some time (a couple weeks maybe?) I remember feeling nauseous every time I started to eat anything. This was very strange to me, and it only happened that one time in my life. I wonder if it was due to my uneasiness about starting at a new school. I don't remember feeling stressed out about it, but maybe I kept it all inside.

    I enjoyed wearing the uniforms. Sometimes I wouldn't even participate in the out-of-uniform days. I agree - why did we care so much about clothes back in the day? That's why I liked college - I felt comfortable wearing whatever I wanted and didn't have to worry about what people thought of my clothes. I heard it said that you can tell who the freshmen are on campus because they're the ones who are dressed up nicely - and the upperclassmen are the ones wearing their sweats. ;)