My Perception of Myself

Remember how awesome it was going to “Aunt Lynn and Uncle Tims?”

For one weekend we’d party it up with Adam and Ashley and it was great.  We were freakin’ young.  Staying up all night was a breeze.  Give me one cookie and I’ll be awake for days.

Remember moving to Washington?  Those long as car rides in the cars packed with luggage like we were trying to become a living Tetris game?  It was hot, crowded, and most disastrously- I ran out of batteries for my Gameboy™.

Remember being at the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince midnight release?  That was fun.  We met your husband for the first time!  We were planning to put on leather underwear and form a phalanx to stop the people from stampeding us.

I’ve been focusing my speculations as of late inwardly.  Evaluating myself, what makes me happy, what drives me.  Who am I?  Those sorts of things that let me feel profound at 3 a.m.  Or when I’m drunk.

In each of those memories that you summoned, how old did you picture yourself?  What were you wearing?  What were you even doing at that point in your life?

To my, my mind doesn’t do a check against my age and body when I’m remembering.  I just remember being there and experiencing it.  But it occurred to me as of late that my perception of myself has changed.  I started to explore my lifetime to try and narrow down when these changes to my internal perception changed.

We went to Aunt Lynn and Uncle Tims essentially throughout our childhood.  They were a semi-monthly staple.  We had great memories there every time we visited.  So why do I always envision myself as 10 years old?  My first memory is that of being like- 7 and playing with Adams chemistry set with him and talking about dinosaurs.

Moving to Washington when we were 12 right up until I went full goth (approximately 16) is a different period.  My memories of middle school and the early part of high school are all a different Daniel.  I was shorter (than I am now), had tightly cropped spiked hair, and wore a black wind breaker and black jeans.  Its the only version of myself I can conjure up.  I don’t even remember what my wardrobe looked like.

High school is a little closer but even then I can’t remember exactly who I was.  I remember “tropes” of myself.  I had incredible, spiky hair.  I had hot topic shirts and fishnet undershirts.  I had a trench coat.  But that’s all.  My image of myself from almost 17 to 24 is the same.  All of my memories are just a string bean version of myself wearing that one outfit.

Here’s the thing that’s becoming interesting.  I know I had different trends in my clothing, hair, and size.  Yet when I think back to those time periods I naturally fall back into that vision of myself.  When I worked at Chuck E. Cheese, the free cheesy bread sticks caused me to balloon to 300 lbs!  Yet, when I think back to living with my girlfriend and best friend during that the time, I don’t remember being heavy.  I don’t remember my clothes or what I was up to at the time.  I remember that specific version of my that my mind conjures up.

What’s been making me think about this is the fact that I believe I am currently in another shift to my mind perceiving me as a different version.  Recently there was a work party where I had to race on a bike.  And I could barely keep it together.  Muay Thai was brutally hard on my body because I’m not young and relatively fit as I was.  My body and mind are beginning to understand that I’m much older than I was.  So I’m finally seeing myself as the monochrome clothed, heavy person I am now instead of a young, vibrant clothed idiot.

Its weird how time and memory interact.  You mentioned recently that we’ve been doing this blog thing for more than a year now.  Which is fucking absurd.  Didn’t we just start?  I’ve only done like 4 posts and 8 of them were about Batman.

Even when I think back to those times my memories of other people are also type-cast.  You will only have long, blonde hair.  Deal with it.  Sara will always be accompanied by one of her various friends.  Mom and Dad haven’t ever changed.

It’s probably why its really jarring when you encounter someone after so long and they totally clash with how you remember them.  When we saw Aunt Lynn and Uncle Tim recently they didn’t match my memories at all.  Or when we went to Wisconsin.  Brett and Casey are goddamn adults now.  Our “cousin” Jenny is married and blonde.


Fuck.  I wish I had been an avid journal-er.  A chronicle of my time alive so I could compare and contrast notes.  Where did I think I was going to be?  What was my vision back then?  Would reading all of that or writing all of that change how I remember things?

Growing up is weird.  But man does it keep me up at night sometimes.