Saturday, August 29th
The memory that surfaced yesterday has led on to other memories, on the topic of coming in second.
I am a second born. My older brother was not just a first born but also the first grandchild in the family. Tremendous excitement! Huge expectations! Massive amounts of attention, too.
Inevitably he was the one one who got the new stuff and I got the hand-me-downs. He got the new bike, and I didn’t. And so on. I didn’t mind – after all, it was the air I breathed and that was Just The Way It Was.
But since I didn’t get things handed to me I found that I could go out and get them anyway, even given my limited means. I became a repairer of things, things others had thrown out. For a while in my teens I was even buying and reselling antiques. I found ways to travel cheaply, also, on junked and repaired (by me) motorcycles, mostly.
Good or bad, this has made me the person I am – thoughtful about certain things, certainly less eager for the latest shiny geegaw, ready to work on a situation that others might walk away from. I like to think it’s also made me independent in certain ways. And so on.
Is this a gift or a curse? Who knows? I didn’t choose my birth order, but it has shaped me.