What has been seen cannot be unseen. As glib and funny as that saying has become online, that’s how experience works. You never know until the experience, and once it happens… it can’t unhappen. It is always with, inside you, regardless of how much you try consciously or unconsciously to bury it. It has an effect on who you are in that you are never the same after. The event doesn’t have to be an external physical event, like a car accident or walking in on you mom and dad having sex. “Eureka!” moments do the trick as well, when some realization hits you after your subconscious has figured something out.
It’s not usually as cut and dried or either/or, but for the purposes of illustration I put it like that. Usually you put things together little by little over time, noting happenings and occurrences, reacting minutely as you go until over a period of time. And one day you finally sense the world is no longer to you as it was before. You’ve undergone a sea change. Maybe you consciously knew something was going on. Maybe you didn’t. But there it is, a change you can neither ignore nor bury. You have evolved, for better or worse or neither.
I had a birthday recently. For it I got a realization. I finally came to the conscious conclusion of something that had been brewing for quite some time. I’m still having something of a time enunciating it, though. It’s quite different from what I thought I knew, from how I saw the world and its dwellers. Some of the people with whom I’ve shared my newly found thinking have been at the same time in general agreement and, to smaller extents, a bit sad or shocked. My grandmother, who turned 92 on the 1st of this month, was some pleased and unsurprised. It usually takes people a lifetime to get here… if they ever do, she said. A friend of mine, who is 88, a retired professor emeritus of philosophy in a nearby metro, said that now I had a chance to be genuinely effective, provided I don’t get stuck in my own head. I just have to get past the disappointment and relative disgust of it all, which both of them say will soon pass.
It about human nature, you see.
I may write more on this later, though I plan to get back to Garden Variety fairly soon.