Sunday, 21 September 2014

When I Started School....

Mary O’Regan from The Path Less Taken nominated me to write a post on what I was like when I started school.

You don’t need a blog. If you have a blog, you can do the post there, but if not, you can do the post on Twitter or Facebook. Some people might like to do all three: post on their blog, Facebook and Twitter. Please always use the tag, #WhenIStartedSchool to keep us together.

The rules are that you must…

Post a photo of yourself from your early school days.

Answer the questions:

What kind of child were you? Are you a very different adult?

Nominate at least three other bloggers and/or social media users. Tell them they have been nominated by leaving a comment on their blogs or by tweeting to them or posting on their wall on Facebook OR whichever method you prefer.

I think it's very difficult to give a definitive answer to the question of what kind of person one was or is. How I perceive myself is likely to be quite different to how others perceive me - the eye of the beholder passes through the prism of our individual experiences effecting how we view others whilst we also often guard our true selves from others. Having said that, here's my attempt to analyse my younger self.

Here's a picture of me from the first year of primary school at Saint Joseph's Roman Catholic School:

What kind of child were you?

I seem to recall being a happy and contented but sometimes nervous child. I grew up in a family with two brothers and though we were like chalk and cheese, we never really fought or indulged in sibling rivalry. I was generally well behaved and eager to please my parents and teachers but was headstrong if I thought I was in the right or had been wronged. Confident within my own friendship group but, timid outside of it, I enjoyed both physical and intellectual activity. I was always reading something and particularly liked to flick through encyclopaedias and books on science and history, often when waiting for dinner or tea. Up until secondary school, I was convinced in the superiority of my own intelligence and this contributed to my sometime sense of defiance. Aside from my first year in comprehensive where I was separated from my friendship group, I thoroughly enjoyed going to school and learning all I could. Thoroughly convinced I would get a great job and earn lots of money, I envisioned a future with a family, a big house and a lavish garden.

Being raised in a Catholic household with a devout father and (eventually) convert mother, Jesus and the saints were always a part of my life. I remember being utterly convinced in the existence of God and, even from an early age, I took the time to learn more about the Faith by reading about the saints or church history.

I had bags of energy as a child, getting up early on weekends and school holidays to go bike riding or adventuring with friends. I loved my action figures from Star Wars, He-Man, Thudercats and Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles to Transformers and quickly developed a fascination with the neighbours' computers. It was an incredible day when we were finally bought a Spectrum 128k for Christmas.

Are you a very different adult?

Though in some ways I think I am radically different in how I approach certain aspects of life (some of which no child has to contemplate or comprehend), there is much continuity between the child I once was and the adult I am now. Some might rightly say that even at the age of 34, I still haven't completely left my childhood behind. The differences I suppose are born of experience and the sad realisations one is faced with as one grows up. As Indiana Jones says, "It's not the years honey, it's the mileage".

I still enjoy both mental and physical activity though I get injured far more regularly and probably have 10% of the energy I did as a child. I love reading as a source of learning but now also as a form of recreation and relaxation.

Paradoxically, though I am more aware of my character defects and limitations, I am more confident in the person I am but less confident in my own abilities. I care less about what other people think about me and am far more content with the simpler things in life, taking great comfort in natural beauty.

My faith has become even more important to me as an adult. It helps me make sense of the world - to truly appreciate the beautiful things life has to offer and to deal with the disappointments and difficulties it places in my path.


The Thirsty Gargoyle


Journey of a Catholic Nerd Writer

Sacred Sharings For The Soul

Linen on the Hedgerow

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