All the Wrong and Dark Things

January 31st, 2023

Today is the last day of Origins month, and I sincerely want to thank anybody who’s been reading. A better explanation of why I’m doing this (and why I do anything on the internet at all) is coming tomorrow, the first day of a new month, and a new topic.

Going through these boxes and photo albums my mom left behind has been an unforgettable experience. Joyful, depressed, enlightened, overwhelmed — I’ve been all that and more, flipping these pictures and pages.

Something that has really struck me is how I perceive myself at any age.

I never see myself as a three-year-old, or an eight-year-old, or a thirteen-year-old, or a seventeen-year-old; I see all those versions of me as an adult, as I am today, with the exact same brain and thoughts I have in my head now.

I don’t have this same attitude towards any other child I meet, but I do for me.

I have always felt like an adult. I have always felt the responsibility of being grown up; the fear and the anxiety that accompanies the act of survival.

I can’t even begin to analyze all the reasons why. I know some of it comes from family dynamics; with deaf parents, I was often a mediator and interpreter, going so far as to translate my own parent-teacher conferences on occasion, or ordering food for the entire table at a restaurant.

Maybe we all feel this way, and we rarely talk about it.

But I know the way I see myself is the reason I could never forgive myself, and not being able to forgive myself meant I had to be ashamed; because I have always been an adult, I always knew better. Mistakes are for babies and I was never a babe.

It wasn’t until I started tolerating the previous versions of myself, starting with the active addict, that my grace for myself started to infect the rest of my timeline.

And that was the real lesson of Origins month for me. I was cringe. My god, I have been so cringe. I have said and done so many stupid things.

But all of those things — those actions and reactions, the missteps and mistakes — all the things I wish I hadn’t done, have influenced me just as much as my positive inspirations and personal successes.

I not only accept them; I embrace me, all of it. I embrace being able to take all the wrong and dark things and make them mean something now.

A funny thing happens when you get to the end of an old photo album. You close it, like you just went through your entire life, and it’s over; then you remember that you’re still alive now, very, and have an entire life’s worth of memories left to make.

Now we bid adieu to January, the month of beginnings, and set the stage for what happens tomorrow.


Published by dennisvogen

I'm me, of course. Or am I?

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