we all come from someplace. where do you come from? how did you escape?
if you’ve been following my blog at all, you know of the posts related to the “crap my aunt says” variety. (for those unacquainted, my aunt is very conservative in most aspects and very catholic.) this i what i grew up with, and because i was entrenched in it early on, i was, well, entrenched in it for quite a while.
i remember the bush/dukakis presidential race. of course everyone in my family was voting republican; of course we were. there was no reason to support dirty democrats. then a tiny moment of clarity: i asked my mom if she voted for bush. she said no. but! bush is pro-life! i remember clearly stating my point in the kitchen of the falling-apart kitchen of our austin farmhouse. my mom looked at me and said, no, bush is anti-abortion. he supports the death penalty, and that is taking a life as well. dukakis is anti-death penalty. (i don’t think she voted for dukakis either, but she presented the facts.) i had something to chew on.
when we moved from austin to new london, separating ourselves from the clench of my dad’s family, i felt like we were more able to explore ourselves as a family unit, not just an extension of the wallace family name. this encouraged more individual exploration and open-mindedness, something my parents fostered. add on to that that we’d had our lows (welfare and food stamps), and you can see that we had a unique viewpoint on the human effort. plus, i’ve always been happy that my parents were almost on two ends of the spectrum politically because it gave me the viewpoint of both sides.
once in college, it sort of snowballed, and experiences and circumstances led to a complete 180 from my 8-year-old self who was wailing about why her mother hadn’t voted for bush. but there’s something of a warning when encouraging your children to be open-minded, critical thinkers: it can come back to bite you in the rear. my parents are disappointed that i lean more toward the agnostic theist way of higher beings rather than catholicism (or christianity in general, i guess). ultimately, that was what was at the root of where i came from, but was it escape? or a lapse and apathy?