Updated: Jan 1
When I was but a toddler, grandma and I used to star-gaze at night from this window. This is the street where I spent most of my childhood days. One night, an old drunk couple walked on the balcony across the street naked. My grandma baptized them “Romeo & Juliet.” Though I did not understand it back then, as I was way too young, it brings so much laughter to me today. What a great sense of humor Romanians have! There are so many memories I built not only window gazing with my grandma but growing up in what used to once be a communist country. All the memories triggered a sense of melancholy so priceless for me, lately. As I currently study human developmental psychology and review the stages of cognitive, physical, and psychosocial development (from conception in the mother’s womb to adulthood), I am in awe at how much comes back to my memory from my own childhood. I have so many beautiful memories from what many would analyze as a terrifying time in my home country's history. Though some of the memories trigger much sadness and unhappiness, there is so much derived from my childhood that triggers the exact opposite. In fact, I am convinced that would it had not been for those experiences, both good and bad, I very likely wouldn't be the person I am today. I used to own this small bag with Donald Duck's face upon it, a red carrier that looked like a child purse, and my grandma would wrap lunch for me in it for kindergarten days. I always loved the color red. Not as much as blue, but it was definitely one of my favorites especially after learning that my first pair of red shoes came from my great-grandmother (mom's grandmother) who bought them for me. Every time we would walk to the kindergarten, we would cross this bridge which had red-looking water in it. The water was so colored that you'd think it was made from bricks. It was not until later in life when I realized that the red was very likely from the pollution, toxic industrial dumps, but while I was a child I was always as if struck by some mystery about that river. Even today I can recall the strong smell in the air, somewhat resembling rusted pipes. It wasn't a nice smell but the mystery of the river almost took me by awe in a mystifying way. It always made me think of The Little Red Riding Hood story. When we are children, we see things so differently. We make such innocent associations which often times are not realistic in nature but rather filled with optimism and courage. It goes without saying, however, that childhood development is highly influenced by environment and that environment shapes to a certain degree who we are. Yet I take a very humanistic approach to the situation. This approach will be explained in a lot more detail by me perhaps at a later time. Nonetheless, what is most important for me to deliver in this message is that in all bad there is always also good, if you know where to look.
Carmen A. C.