I am firm in the belief that our environment is responsible for a lot of what makes us who we are. Part of who we are comes from genetics, but I believe the majority of it comes from the environment. And whatever genetic predispositions our minds have can still be greatly altered by the people around us and whatever situations in which we find ourselves during the developmental part of our lives. You are the product of your childhood. Your parents are mostly responsible for how you turned out. You totally have the right to blame them for all your problems, or if not them, then someone who played a major role in your early years. Even as an adult, every life that comes in contact with yours has the potential to shape and mold your self in new ways. You have just as much potential to shape and mold other people’s lives as well. As the saying goes, no man is an island. We are all interconnected and we all pull our nature from each other.
We all start out life as a blank slate. Throughout the time we spend on this planet, things are constantly being added to the parchment of our personality. Each new thing builds onto every other thing that came before it. Habits are formed, routines are established, opinions and ideals are isolated and solidified. Each addition to the page makes it more difficult to add something else because there is only so much space that can be utilized. It’s like you are trying to write out everything that defines yourself on a single sheet of paper.
During childhood the page is completely blank, so you make very large pen strokes. Then, during adolescence, you realize there is not quite as much free space anymore, so you make smaller markings. There is still plenty of space to write what you have to say though. As you enter adulthood, your letters become very small and scrunched together at the bottom of the page as you try to wrap things up. Hopefully you don’t have much more to add because you have pretty much run out of room. Throughout your later years you occasionally add a few things in the margins (you only have room to edit your initial draft with the most important changes). There is always room for additions, but it becomes more and more difficult to throw them in, and your initial large pen strokes will always dominate the page.
Life is written in pen. We cannot go back and erase our mistakes. We can, however, cross things out. We can acknowledge that our lives began to take a certain path, but now we choose to take a different path. We are forced to keep the scars of our past, but the depth of those scars depends on how thoroughly those previous markings are scratched out. Sometimes we can even get our hands on some whiteout and cover up old parts of ourselves in order to write in something new and fresh. It’s a way to somewhat recover that initial blank slate state, although there are still imperfections.
I feel like recently I was able to whiteout my life. Not all of it, but a large part of it that had been really dragging me down. A major part of me that was holding me back. And now that it is covered up, I can go back and rewrite it. I can explore options that I could have explored before but never did. At first I was relieved to be rid of such a burden, but now I am excited, because what was once a burden is now a huge opportunity to discover myself again. I can look at familiar ideas under a new light, and it is spectacular. Seeing things from a different perspective makes a huge difference in the way life itself is experienced.
Until next time, may you write legibly on your metaphysical parchment.