My grandmother used to tell me that things always come in threes. Usually, she was referring to, well, unpleasant things. If something unpleasant happened, and then another, she’d warn me to wait for the third. I spent too many hours of my childhood waiting for that third thing to happen, was never disappointed (it always arrived), and missed a lot of good stuff in between!
Years later, I was reading some bit of fiction where the character was waiting for the third shoe to drop. No, it was not a three-legged (or footed) character, and I didn’t question that imagery since the notion of unpleasant things happening in threes was already woven into the fabric of my perception. It seems that the dropping shoe analogy is fairly modern in origin. Anyway, I continued to invest a portion of my time, my life, my essence in waiting for the third shoe to drop.
So much of the baggage I’ve dragged around with me through life was not even mine to carry.
I cleaned my plate because my grandmother had lived through famine and didn’t want any more children to experience that. She filled my plate to sate the hunger she felt…but I was expected to eat it.
In high school, I was not allowed to join the ski club because my mother was afraid I’d have an accident. Mind you, high school was in Ohio…not exactly known for its ski resorts!
It took me a very long time to understand I was buried under my elders’ fears, judgments, and prejudices. It took me a very long time to find my way to my Self on the road to hell that others’ good intentions had paved for me. It took me a very long time to figure out I had to get off that road and ditch the excess baggage.