It's not what I have[.] It's what I have to give. A blog about resources--gaining, giving, and sharing.

05 July 2011

FAMILY affects Identity – Part 1

3:39 PM Posted by steve flores 2 comments
Part 1 of a 6 part series.  

Psychologists believe your earliest childhood memory describes your view of self.  My earliest childhood memory is of being denied my first kiss from Jennifer Saenz, in the first grade.  I had a crush on her.  In elementary school, kids would line up during recess to ride the big merry-go-round.  One afternoon, during recess, I watched Jennifer fancifully get on the merry-go-round.  Quickly, I jumped from the top of the monkey bars and ran to file in line, praying I would get the chance to sit next to Jennifer Saenz!  I was ready to confess my undying, first grade, love and make a love connection with the biggest move of my life – the first kiss.  As kids entered and exited the merry-go-round, Jennifer stayed seated.  Anxious and nervous, it seemed my dreams would come true.  The line wouldn’t move fast enough!  Finally, my turn arrived.  I ran, jumped up, and slid into the long seat where Jennifer sat.  “Hi,” I said with other intentions.  She gave me a huge smile.  My heart skipped a few beats.   

I’m sure there was an awkward silence after, “hi,” because I was more occupied thinking about how to segue into kissy face.  The real reason I was there was for the kiss.  I told Jennifer I liked her and leaned in for the moment I waited my whole life for (or since I jumped in the merry-go-round line).  As I leaned in, Jennifer leaned back, away from me.  I leaned further toward her, oblivious to her clues.  She didn’t want what I was eager to give. 

The velocity of the spinning merry-go-round, gravity and I’m sure physics fought against my plan.  As my feet dangled to the ground and my body leaned further toward her, suddenly the unexpected happened for me and a miracle happened for her.  My feet clipped the ground and yanked my body from the long wooden seat, between the metal handlebars.  My earliest childhood memory is of failure.

Closely tied to that memory is one of my brothers.  I love them, dearly, but as kids they would tease and embarrass me while I was on the phone with any girl.  As a result, I disliked talking on the phone, with girls, at home.  With corded home phones, you were limited to how far you could get away, so I made for an easy target.  If I wanted privacy, I could walk to a payphone, but my mom wouldn’t allow it.  I struggled in communication with girls growing up, because I was incredibly afraid of failure and embarrassment.  Thinking back, it’s easy to see how my experiences and my family played a role in affecting my identity.  It’s the same for you, too.  And, it could have been the same way for David, as in the David and Goliath David. Family affects identity.