Like literally every mammal, I was born. This happened in 1988. For my mother, it was a harrowing experience: living in Little Current, she was out fishing with my father when she felt the signs and said “we need to paddle back, I’m going to have a baby.” At the Little Current hospital, it became apparent that wee fetal Michael had decided to do a last minute 180 and was now feet first. A cesarian was called for – but the only anesthesiologist was also out fishing. After the general panic caused by my impending entrance into the world, my mother was helicoptered to the Sudbury hospital for the c-section – but even there the epidural didn’t work, and I came out stoned out of my fetal mind on the general anesthetic that she had recieved. There are those who insinuate that there my brain is still to this day suffering from the effects of those early anesthetics, but I try not to let it hold me back. I was named after my Romanian grandfather Mihai, who had recently died. My middle name was chosen from my father’s middle name which was his Russian fathers name which was his fathers’ fathers’ name: Julian. The oldest son of the oldest son. My son’s middle name is now Julian as well – which I feel good about, although I didn’t have much of a choice unless I wanted to risk disownment.
As a baby, my father made two decisions for which I am to this day grateful.
The first was that he would only ever speak French to me, Ever. This has given me bilingualism, and I am eternally gratefull. The second was to pass on his love of camping and the great outdoors, which has shaped me and become a deeply engrained aspect of my spirituality and approach to life.
His second decision was that tv was a waste of time, and didn’t allow it in the house, telling his children to play outside instead. This led to a couple of things. One, is a deep love of the outdoors, and a high level of comfort in places that are not technically my home. (Sometimes too much. Let’s just say I was Really proud of myself when I invented what I call “the walking pee” for peeing while walking in semi-public places.) Ofcourse I also don’t get a lot of television and movie references…. but that hasn’t stopped me from now wanting to be an actor. Actually it may have helped – the hours of my sister and I hanging out outside and creating our own games, characters and imaginary friends was one of the first ways life forced me to create characters and stories, and I digged it ever since.
I had a happy childhood. I made a lot of sand castles.
My parents were kind and loving and understanding. They messed up sometimes – hey, they are still human. I have no memory of this, but apparently my mum once thought I was asleep, and then sorta had to go pick up my dad, and was like, ‘well he’s asleep so I will just step out for a minute.” When she got back I had sobbed myself back to sleep on the front doormat, as apparently my three year old self had a spider sense for when there was nobody in the house. But we all have stories like that in our lives, just some of us may not have been told by their parents what they are (lol).
I don’t think that’s the reason for it… but it is true that I definitely grew up weird. Sometimes when asked how I was feeling, I would respond with colours or shapes – “yellow” and “fluffy” were generally joyous terms, while “brown” and “flat” were generally how I was feeling when I didn’t want to come out from under the table.
I also had quite the preschool experience – apparently I spent my first few weeks biting and kicking the other kids. A brilliant child-psychologist, who I know only as “Frank” but owe basically my entire life, was called in to watch this psychotic child who was terrorizing the other children, bigger and smaller alike.
After carefully observing, he realized that I wanted to play with the others – but didn’t know how to ask, so to get their attention, I would attack with my teeth bared.
Nice kid, huh
But Frank – wonderful Frank, God and Spirits Bless you, wherever you are now – kept an eye on me, and when he saw that “I wanna play too” gleam in my eye, he would stop me from attacking and coach me into using words. And soon I was interacting with other children without biting or kicking them, and the world was a safer, happier place.
Soon, the long suffering preschool employees had a new complaint: little Michael would start playing with one thing, then leave it and run to something else, leaving it in its state: but if someone else cleaned up or started playing at one of his previous stations, he would get extremely upset. Once again Frank was called, and
watched children (thank Jesus he didn’t have a moustache, if they thought he was a pedophile I’d have never been cured) and realized I was apparently playing with the entire room: every station was just a small town in the world I was creating. I think he probably taught me to clean up, or atleast let others play in my world… not sure, as its mainly the Attack-story that I remembered from my parents.
Well anyway. Again, we all have great stories like that – parents, try to remember those stories about your kids, and tell them when they are older, they Love to hear them. Or atleast, my kid loves to hear them anyway lol.
So I grew up. Learned, laughed, etc, etc. Did martial arts, which became a big part of my life, and spent a lot of time thinking or drawing or writing, as sensitive children sometimes do. I am sure many other stories of my childhood will creep into this blog eventually, but suffice to say I was always a little off centre: and from grade 7 to 9 I was shy and awkward, a blossoming flower of a boy hidden inside a kid who was worried about showing who he was to a savage world. Or perhaps that’s what we all were, but without Frank around, perhaps I just didn’t have the same coping mechanisms. Like being “normal” – something which at that time I would have probably enjoyed, but just couldn’t do.
Then in Grade 10, something happened. I don’t know if it was letting go of my Christian guilt, although it coincided with realizing it didn’t want to actually save sex for marriage. I know it is atleast in part due to long talks on the ski lift with my best friend and life long love, who was a bit wilder and more irreverent than I was.
But whatever the reason, his heart or his shoes (yes that’s a Grinch quote) during grade 10 I erupted. Like a flower bursting and revealing its colours, or a firework getting sparked and shooting off gratuitously, I realized I didn’t care what other people thought of me: I was into me, and those I cared about were into me, and those that were not into me need not to be.
Suddenly I was a much happier individual, the cognitive dissonance inside of me having been washed away with a decision to just be myself. I expressed my newfound freedom by turning from a bit of a recluse to a social butterfly, by getting to know every individual I could in the school of KCI, and by tearing my pants off on tables in the cafeteria.
This is the Michael that people met at the University of Waterloo: wild, alive with my own self love, and ready to try almost anything that was non-lethal and available.
Actually, tearaway pants became my thing – like Really my thing. Lots of great stories – this is in a stairwell at UW, really high up, I guess I just wanted to watch them fall down the several stories… tried to make “Tearaway Tuesdays” a thing, but it ended up just being me. Also went in to my Thesis Defence, and ripped my pants off (to reveal dress pants beneath), thank Jesus the prof supervising me was German and into that stuff.
It was only in the last few years, after the glitz and glamour of university had worn off, that I began to look past the glittering blossom of my personality and actually examine myself. There will be a later blog post about how there are personality disorders – and then there are traits we all have, that are the watered down functional (to varying degrees) versions of the pathological “disorders.” I discovered what mine was, and that my self-love was perhaps a little more than necessary, when I engaged in a personality quiz with a girl who had the temerity to be seeing me, and her roomates. See,we were watching this documentary on narcissists. Like the scary ones, that murder people to get their way… And I was like, you know, I dont think I’d murder anyone – but a lot of what these wackos are saying, I really associate with…
So we took this quiz on general personality traits – everyone gets a few of them, but if you get 6 of 12 or over, you should consider getting checked for narcissism by a psychologist. (Gotta love online tests, but this one seemed legit … lol). The other 3 ppl in the room each got 3 or 4. I had 8.
Fortunately, the 4 I missed were the ones where you lack empathy (the ones that are associated with murdering people and doing well in business.) Alas – so instead, I will just blog about my thoughts and shit. Hey, could be cool! This also led to my theory on “Disorders the Personality Traits” – I will post about that one in the future 😉
Until next time, amigos. Keep livin life.
psychotic vampire child: https://michaelmasurkevitch.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/dc47c-bigstock_screaming_child_1958196.jpg
messy playroom: http://momsbyte.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/messy-playroom.jpg
the rest are mine 😉