Walking toward the computer lab today (after my environmental biology class) I was really happy. It’s a warm summer day, there are people of all different races and cultures around me, different smells, styles, sounds, just everything all around me.
This is so different from Rockford College -where rich white kids stumble from one class to another in little clumps that I can’t be a part of, and poor older students wander lost through the well-manicured foliage looking for something moderately amicable to hold on to as they struggle their way through the pretentious ranks in power. I suppose that my last experience with an institution of higher education was not entirely unpleasant -I enjoyed the class discussions and the readings immensely. There just wasn’t an outlet available to me socially. I suppose it was because there were just too few kids there and anonymity often comes easiest in a crowd.
So I’m struggling with my training to instinctually feel guilty when I enjoy life too much. I suppose it could be chalked up to my childhood (wow, that’s getting old) but I was always made to believe that I didn’t deserve anything good. I don’t think people realize how much children are affected by the mental or spiritual states of their parents. I, for example, was raised by a woman so beaten down by depression, so cynical, and so convinced that the world could not possibly hold any good or enjoyable path for her -that I grew up believing those things for myself. I was somewhat empathic as a child, I suppose.
Nowadays I fight the urge to feel self-pity. It doesn’t always work, but I’m making lots of progress. In fact, I’m LOVING this town full of college parties and good looking people and education and convenience. It’s almost like living in a big city.
Rockford has been struggling to become a metropolis for so long, but the conservative majority that run that place are fighting tooth and nail to maintain their turn-of-the-century thinking and lifestyle. No sidewalks, a public transportation system that could stump a rocket scientist, and a underlying mentality that just buzzed with classism, racism, and just about any othe “-ism” you can think of.
YAY Dekalb! My footprint to freedom, the golden road to Chi-town, and my personal chance at happyness through self-imposed isolation. Here I can choose to be social with my few friends or not. I can get involved in any number of organizations or I can be absorbed in my classes, my son, and my own internal dialogue. I’ve been needing this for so long. I’m happy today and no spiritually impoverished inner child is gonna stop me!