Some people might ask why I’m starting this blog when I’ve got a perfectly fine (and actually relatively well visited) one running over at DoubleBlind. Well, putting things simply, Doubleblind is a little too active for me to keep using it as a facet for my own thoughts beyond the subject of Psychology.
And so I’m repurposing this place; AshChapman.net has been, pretty much, my landing page and nothing all else for a year or so, being pretty static and pretty stale for the majority of time that it has existed. This makes it the perfect candidate to jot down how I’m feeling. These posts aren’t always going to make sense, I can’t promise they’ll be amazingly pretty and if stalking’s your game then you’ll be much better off if you hit me up on my twitter, but this will be a semi-frequent log of my life, the universe and everything. With that in mind, my first post:
Memories are strange things. Some are good, some bad. I’m severely lacking in them. You’d have thought that given my dissertation subject, working memory, that I’d be somewhat more knowledgeable in the area given that I’ve spent the last eight or nine months studying it intently, and I am, I guess. The academic front, at least.
Really, when it comes to the qualitative aspect of things I’m not too great. I can explain the literature and research from start to finish; how we create memories, how we rehearse them, how we store them and how we retrieve them. This is not something that’s difficult to me, not at all. The part I do find hard, though all relates to the bits with meaning.
That is not to say I have a trouble remembering things; I don’t. In fact, I’d like to think this is something I do pretty well. Here’s an example: when I was six, I asked my parents if I could have my hair dyed blonde — naturally Eminem was my role model — and not wanting to disappoint me I was told “when you’re ten you can”. Suffice to say, my tenth birthday and the following few months were marred by the colouring of my hair. I’d like to think I pulled it off pretty well, at least as well as any ten year old can pull something off, but I’m not entirely sure others would agree.
See, I was bullied. This is something that I had, to an extent still have, a very hard time dealing with and speaking about it still kinda throws me a little. I have come to terms with it, though, which is perhaps the most important part. What I haven’t been able to patch up, however, are the significant gaps in my life caused by this period. Details about it are maybe better suited to another post and another day, but suffice to say it was not in any way, shape or form a fun time.
— There is a loneliness in this world so great —
I mean, maybe I did bring it upon myself somewhat. I didn’t “fit in” with other people my age; my friends (on the occasions that I did, indeed, have them) were all older than me and perhaps the blonde hair (or my refusal to have it cut a few years later on) kinda contributed to the situation I was in, but this is all besides the point. Semantics could be argued all day; it is, again, not the purpose of this post.
Because my friends have always been much older than me, I’ve been thrust through the ranks in ageing, as it were. In some ways, I’ve missed out on a lot because of this. Instead of hanging around, as kids do, I drank a lot because that’s what older kids do. My first time was with someone I didn’t know and still continue not to know. A lot of the innocence of being a kid was lost, both literally and figuratively, while I was still a kid. Now, I’m not in any way complaining about my group at all, I think more than the world of them. Even Tuggers, the arsehole. But I do feel, though, as if I don’t really belong anywhere. It’s as if a buffer exists between us because I’m lacking experiences that they’ve had and there’s a buffer between people my age and I because they’re lacking the experiences I’ve had. It’s a sick sorta catch-22, really. I guess it’s more an issue of not belonging, but the end product is the same: I feel as if I’ve missed out on a lot of what it is to grow up; I’ve been adulterated far too quickly. I identify with very few people because of this.
It’s very easy to whine and complain though, and not exactly produce an answer to anything. What’s much harder but wholly much better is to produce a solution to this. Missing memories are one thing — you can’t recreate a bygone time — but you can learn from what isn’t there and make sure never to repeat a mistake. Sure enough, it’s negotiable about what I could have done to change my younger years, but what I do know is that there’s an awful many times that I’ve said no to something because I’ve either been comfortable and complacent enough not to want to do it or too scared to say yes. This is not an issue that is going to continue.
I’ve been turning this around for a while now, and a lot of good things have come from it. One especially great thing has, in fact. All it took for this to happen, too, in a way, was the addition of a letter and the jumbling of two others. No becomes yes, and the other things can fall into place where they may. I’ve learned a lot from being open to experiences, and not letting previous ones hold you back — and I hope that I continue to do so.