Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a strongly patriotic post. I love this picture because of the way the light shines on the flag and the trees in the background are shadowed a bit. This flag is in the front yard of my dad’s house. My stepmom put it there as a way to honor my stepbrother, who has been for the last couple of years on active military duty. The flag to me represents freedom.
Looking back on my childhood, I’m surprised by how much freedom we had! Don’t get me wrong, my parents were by no means negligent. They were great and managed to keep our lives completely normal despite the divorce. I think that we were such good kids that my parents really trusted us. I have so many fond memories of the things my siblings and I did as kids.
I remember one time when my sister, cousin, and I decided to make a soap opera, with Barbies. We called it, “One Barbie Life to Live.” As I recall, there were some racy scenes We were insane about Barbies. My sister played with them until she was nearly in high school. We still laugh about that. I would love to see that video now, but I’m sure it’s long gone.
Once with the same cousin, we went to a “creek,” which was really a drainage ditch and decided to swim at the deepest part. Looking back now, I can’t believe how disgusting that is. I remember seeing snakes Now, I am too uptight and fearful of dirty water that I would NEVER do that. It’s funny how fearless I was as a kid. I don’t think my parents ever knew about this. If they did, I would have liked to see their reaction.
Perhaps the greatest memories I have from childhood are the times when I was an aspiring moving producer and director. My brother, stepsister, and I created a series known as the “Crackape Chronicles.” We were incredibly imaginative and we used what resources and limited technology we had. The title screens were made by me. I used the paint program on our computer and filmed it The crackape, played by my stepsister, is a sasquatch-like creature that roams the countryside of southern Indiana. I think we got the name by mixing two creatures, the kracken and the skunk-ape. Naturally, my stepsister was chosen to play the crackape because she was and always has been large for a girl. She fit perfectly into the black sweatshirt and sweatpants and the black ski-mask with ears made her look like a man-like creature. Really funny stuff I think there are seven “films” in the series total. The fact that we lived on a massive farm and our entire neighborhood was owned by our family, meant that we had a great range of filming locations. I know this is all random, but it’s a great example of how much freedom I had as a kid. I feel sorry for children who don’t have that.
When I was a kid, the internet was just beginning to take off. My dad got a computer and the big thing was Yahoo messenger. My friend Tiffany and I talked on it all the time. I remember waiting anxiously for that dial-up tone to finally end and the smily face light up on my computer, letting me know that the internet finally connected and we could chat. We spent the night at each other’s houses quite often. Once, when I went to her house, we started chatting with this guy from Chicago named Jimmy Lee. We told him we were 18, but he must have either been a total idiot or was just pretending that we were 18 because there’s no way that two 13 year-old girls, who were probably giggling the entire time, sounded like 18 year-olds. Well, long story short, we talked with Jimmy Lee for weeks. Tiffany even printed off his picture and brought it to school. He wasn’t a bad looking guy really, but obviously he was a creep. He told us he was married. As if that wasn’t creepy enough, he turned on his webcam! Locking the door of his office, yes he did this at work, he pulled his pants down and I’m pretty sure that was the first time either of us saw a you-know-what. To this day, we still laugh about Jimmy Lee. Perhaps this is an instance where childhood freedom went a little far
These memories are all random, but they remind me of how carefree I was as a child. I wish I could get that same courage back and live my life without worry. I was a totally different person back then. What happened to me? When did all of this fear of contamination begin? Sometimes I feel like a prisoner in my own body. That freedom I had as a kid is gone, even though I have more of it now than I ever did. Believe it or not kids, when you become adults you can eat dessert before dinner!
Psychologically, I am not free. I am constantly looking for ways to better myself and this is the thing that I am working on most. I doubt I will ever be OCD free, but I am working on it.
I am writing this post to hear your thoughts. What ways do you all use to escape your worries? How do you find that little bit of freedom from the stresses and struggles of life? I love it when I get suggestions because sometimes others give me ideas that I would never think of by myself.
I look forward to hearing from you.