I definitely grew up monologue, early seventies, playschool and Barbies. Fun was all about imagination. In other words, it was all in my head. To this day, you probably can’t see me having fun, but I am. Trust me. I’m just used to pretending. Quietly.
The first time I went to try meditation at 14, the lady said, “It’s like going to Disneyland in your mind.” I already had a lot of practice. But it wasn’t Disneyland or anywhere that I went really. It was the orderliness of it all; the predictable patterns, the protocol, the process of my own thoughts that I went in for.
I was lucky too, to be introduced to computers at a young age, but not too young and not nearly to the extent that young people are today. In fifth grade we all experienced our first forays into the world of apple computers and programming ie. making words repeat themselves on the screen Jessica loves Mark, Mark + Jessica, Jessica + Mark, Mark loves Jessica, for example. We had a blast changing colors, patterns and creating “new” shapes with simple commands. Shapes that weren’t even possible to witness being created in real time before this moment. And we COMMANDED them into existence! How cool is that?!
When it came time for me to buy a car, I wasn’t interested. The city bus worked great. I saved up my hard-earned cash for a desktop computer with a 9600 baud modem (built-in) that performed at a whopping 14.4KBS and then not soon enough 28.8! It took me a year and half with my allowance, babysitting money, lunch money and a part-time job schilling designer clothes at clearance center prices. Actually, as my manager dutifully informed me, the prices marked 75% off were in fact, still 50% more than they should have cost to make double the profit. That was my first clue that things are not always as they seem.
Instantly, the value of “expensive” things and money and work and time and effort changed for me in a very positive way. Time became my number one asset and it was something I had plenty of. I could have gone the other way; fallen for the trap of thinking I would never be able to “afford” the finer things worth having. Thinking that it was all a conspiracy instead of just the way things are. Whenever I suspect that something is “over-priced” or “hyped” in order to make a profit whether it is so-called health food or exercise or a “new” vitamin that cures all or even the size of women’s clothing I calmly remind myself, “You’re not paranoid; it’s just highly probable.”
Buying that computer was the best thing I could have done for my future. It set me free, introduced me to people across the country and the world. People I would never meet in person but who would be my mentors, best friends and most influential partners in life. I now have decades long friendships with people I have never seen more than a photo of. Including a woman who was my pen-pal as a child.
We wrote letters on paper back then, with stamps and envelopes and waited two whole weeks sometimes to hear from each other. I thought she lived in an exotic Scandinavian country, but it turned out to be New Jersey! She recently found me on facebook and we are penpals of a different more instant sort to this day.
There are so many ways growing up in that half n’half world made me who I am today. Technology shaped the way I acquire knowledge, the way I work, how I get paid and where I am able to do these things—from anywhere on the planet (where there is high-speed internet access). How lucky I am!
Each month on this day, I ask myself the same question. How does life get better than this? Today is the 52nd anniversary of the day I decided that that I’m the luckiest woman on earth. It’s taken some time but I’m definitely convinced.
Here’s to your story, your path and your luck. May they all be exactly how you decide they are.