It Is a Childhood Thing

Just because it happened in the past doesn’t mean it can’t be rectified in the present.

Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash

I often wonder why I get so anxious at times. I am sure many of us do, but I keep questioning myself. Maybe it’s a childhood thing, I thought, and so I revisited my childhood pictures.

I remembered the time when my mother single-handedly raised my brother and me. My dad would be away working tirelessly to provide for his family. My mother stood like a pillar to ensure we did well in school, focus on our dreams and never be dependent on anyone. But life is filled with lessons, and my mother used worry as self-defence.

If my school bus arrived a minute late, she would get frantic. If I didn’t receive her call, I would have to hear a one-minute monologue about responsibility once I was home. I never complained while she used to vent her worry on me. I would try and empathise with her and then give her a warm hug.

The Answers Lie in the Past

When you mature, you realise why people behave a certain way. Why do they react at the drop of a hat? You try to understand their family background and past struggles and learn their behaviour patterns. I did the same.

My mom told me how she lost her father when she was fifteen. She, her elder sister and her mom had given up on life as her dad didn’t leave much savings. Two teenagers then had to shoulder the brunt, and they learnt the lesson of being independent.

During the 60s’ India was getting used to women empowerment. My mom and her sister were the first girls in the family to go to college. My grandma realised that education is the only way there would be food on the table, and so my mom and her sister would work hard to attain a graduate degree in Sociology and give tuitions to school children.

The Misery of the Unknown

Life happened, and my mom got married and had kids. To be independent at all costs would remind her that she needed to do the same for her kids and prepare her kids for all eventualities. And thus, the constant worry of what will happen next led to continual anxiety.

The last time I checked, you inherit a lot of stuff from your parents through genes and the environment you are brought up in. Observing my mother working tirelessly to ensure her kids make their way in life by being prepared somehow got to me, and the need to anticipate the worst kind of slipped into me.

But one thing is strange. I turned out to be the worrier, while my brother turned to be the one who would take things easy. He turned out to be the ‘let things happen first and then worry about it’ type. You know the type A and the type B personality types. He makes life easy. I never understood how he turned out this way, but I thank God that one of us did.

It’s Never too Late to Right the Wrongs

By revisiting my childhood, I realised we all have traits that we inherit while growing up. We can work on them and improve them if we want. I discovered meditation in September 2020 to get hold of my anxiety. I am far from getting where I want to be, but I am much better than before.

I always hated the phrase ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree’. To me, I would refute the belief that someone is like someone just because of their family. Everyone can break away from the bad and lead towards the good once they realise that being good may take time to get where you want, and it may be filled with challenges, but eventually, when you get where you want, you feel fulfilled and the happiness is lifelong.

So, you and I may have many things we can’t figure out in the present, and they must have been an aftereffect of the past. Whatever is your childhood thing, remember to focus on the present and figure out a feasible solution.

Because it may be a childhood thing, but we have control over the present, and we can work on our flaws one day at a time together.

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𝘈𝘶𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘵𝘺, 𝘷𝘶𝘭𝘯𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺, 𝘢𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 & 𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘸𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘧 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸𝘭𝘦𝘥𝘨𝘦 𝘰𝘯 𝘴𝘱𝘪𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭 𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴.

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