Do you ever have the sense that you’ve forgotten something? Let’s say you’re walking to class and there’s just something niggling around in the back of your mind. You have the urge to stop in the middle of the sidewalk and awkwardly fumble with your backpack to make sure you have everything you need.
Sometimes you realize that you’re just being paranoid. Sometimes you get to class and realize you left your phone plugged into its charger, your hair dryer running in the bathroom and your final paper sitting neatly printed out on your desk. And then you panic.
This happened to my mum once. It was an ordinary Sunday, driving home from church. She had that same niggling feeling in the back of her mind that something was missing. She would have called my dad, just to figure things out, but this was before the days of cellphones. The Dark Ages when you actually had to wait for someone to show up instead of texting “Where are you?” every ten minutes.
And then she got home, counted her kids, and asked my dad: “Where’s Taylor?”
“Didn’t you have her?”
And I was sitting quietly in a corner of my catechism class. Seriously, in a corner. Behind a chair. I was one of those awkwardly shy kids who never spoke, which was probably part of the reason my family forgot about me.
I survived the ordeal and got a drive home from a friendly church goer. It helped to have experience the next few times I was forgotten: once by my sister at school, twice at the pool by my swim coach, and as early as two years ago, I arrived home from work to find my family had left town for the weekend and forgotten to tell me. It was cool: I got to eat whipped cream from the can for dinner.
So what’s the moral of this story? Look to the title: I had issues. I was constantly afraid of being forgotten or left out. Today I manage it fine, but every now and then those issues pop up. But you know what? You have issues too. Don’t try and hide it. So does the person sitting next to you, and the guy at the front of the class giving a lecture. Everyone has issues because of something that has happened in the past. Don’t let it define how you see other people.
The only time you should let your issue be an issue – and I mean the only time – is when you’re desperately trying to get something out of someone.
Mom, Dad, how could you forget me at church?? (P.S. Send cookies and grocery money.)