Connecting the dots

January 22nd, 2015

In a damp, dark castle--deliriously happy.

I was updating my Goodreads shelves a little while ago, and noticed that all but two of the books I logged for 2014 were historical non-fiction or fiction. Add to that, 44 hours of recorded lectures on history. Add to that, who knows how many hours of historical documentaries and dramas on video.

I’m on a bit of a kick.

One of my favorite things about being my age is forehead-smacking insight into my own life. Like I’ve been working on a connect-the-dots picture for forty-plus years and can suddenly see the pattern emerge. 

SMACK! I love history!

I’ve loved history all my life. I always preferred historical books to nearly any other kind. As a kid, I was mad for those picture books that showed ancient Roman villas or medieval castles in minute detail. I wanted to be an archaeologist when I grew up. The museum is the first place I want to go in any new city. In the last few years, I’ve discovered a passion for genealogy–not just mine, but everyone’s. Microfiche readers excite me. I’ve almost trained Facebook to only feed me headlines that involve dead kings in car parks.

How didn’t I know this? Obviously, I love history. But I didn’t see it before. I was just going from dot to dot. From this thing, to that.

It’s wonderful, this eureka feeling. But a little wistfulness follows it. I wish I’d known some of these things sooner. When I was eighteen and miserable in college, majoring in what I thought I was supposed to do, and hating it, I wish I’d known that I loved history. 

And while I’m wishing, it would’ve also been good to know that transitions are tricky for me. That I have a fierce competitive streak. That I hate repetition. That I’m capable of lasting relationships. That I would love being a mother. That too much solitude and not enough sunlight is detrimental to my mental health.

I wish I’d known me better.

It’s not very enlightened to admit to regrets. I don’t know how you come this far without rueing some of the time spent on detours and dead ends. But I guess they were dots in the puzzle too. A straight line doesn’t make a very interesting picture.

 

4 Responses to “Connecting the dots”

  1. Bev says:

    My list of regrets is so very short because I’ve always known that all of it – the good, the mundane, the truly horrible – brought me to today and my today is as nearly perfect as life gets.

  2. marilee pittman says:

    Life is a journey of self discovery, where the one is always travelling home to one’s self.

  3. Robyn says:

    Actually, I think it is enlightened to admit regrets. Not admitting them would be unenlightened. Also, as a much wiser person than me once said, what you do and what you become are not two things.

  4. Historical fiction is a great thing! ;)

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