16 October 2009


As a child, I had to shoulder burdens no child ought to. The day before my eighth birthday, my father was sentenced to prison for vehicular manslaughter. Even though I've now moved beyond it, I will never forget the pain I felt when I found out, the pain and the anger towards God. (For at that time, I was a "Christian" and had prayed to God to not let my dad go to prison.) This moment in time, I believe, was the beginning of the end. The beginning of my loss of faith in Christianity, the beginning of the end of a normal childhood, if my childhood could ever be said to have been normal.

Oddly, what caused me to lose my faith in Christianity caused my dad to find his. He was never a bad father, but he preferred to be not at home. I guess he had his own growing up to do. I have the deepest respect for and admiration of him, that he could find strength during such a horrible time, when all seemed, to me, hopeless.

This time began my path towards Wicca, and from Wicca to Paganism. Not to say that I began looking for new religions the year I turned eight, because I didn't know they were out there, but it opened my mind to the fact that religion wasn't just one thing. (I very much doubt my eight-year-old self had these thoughts. I am, most likely, projecting my musings onto my younger self. But, I can say with all certainty that this was when I started questioning the existence and concept of God.)

I hope beyond hope that I can spare my son the level of trauma I faced as a child. It's bad enough that he doesn't have a father, although that's an issue for another post, another time! Suffice it to say that the person who helped me create my son is not worthy of being a father for many, many reasons. I dream the American dream for my son, that he'll have a better and easier life than I did. Fortunately, though, I realise that the American dream does not necessarily need to be fulfilled through stuff. I prefer that his American dream is a life that is happy, healthy, and trusting, as opposed to owning a little pink house.

When I am with my friends, who are your typical college students, I feel absolutely ancient, though I am only a year or so older or, in some cases, younger than they. Even with my boyfriend, who is seven years older than I am, I am generally left feeling like the older person. Its very odd, because I still feel like a child at time. I don't see this as a bad thing. I think its amazing that at 22, I can still feel elation at going to a zoo, or jumping in puddles after it rains, or trying to catch lightning bugs on a summer night. (Although, I find it somewhat of a relief that I have my son and can use him as an excuse to do these things which no respectable 22 year-old would do!)

My childhood was robbed of happiness. But I am making up for that by living my life with child-like abandon. I find it both amazing and ridiculous how excited I get by some things, like going to a zoo, because I'm "adult" who is more excited than most children. I advise it to you.

Live like a child, taking utter joy from life's simple pleasures. See the wonder in a line of ants passing by with their food, without worrying that they're contaminating your kitchen. Dance in the rain. Colour with crayons. Open yourself to these experiences and you will see the magic that resides in them.

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