Today's Wednesday Factoid is: Do you like the way that you grew up?
Kind of a vague question there, survey.
The short answer is yes, absolutely. Like any family, there were ups and downs, and like any school career, I didn't always have an easy time, but I lived a life of relative privilege and comfort and I generally felt like my home was a safe place to be.
I was usually supported and encouraged by my parents and teachers, and though it took a while before I found like-minded people to be friends with, that bolstered my confidence too when it happened. I was surrounded by people who were both practical and creative, and I felt like I was a priority in my mom's life--she was very focused on taking care of her children. I had access to books and music and lots of opportunities to use my creativity.
My roughest time was probably middle school, when all my attempts to become the person I was going to be were met with harassment or ridicule or being ignored. That's an experience that made me quite aware that "people are ACTUALLY LIKE THIS" and has helped provide perspective when dealing with the adult versions of people like them: they're common, they have strength in numbers, and they aren't trying to make the world a better place.
So many of my friends and acquaintances have horror stories about growing up. Abusive parents, harassment that went far beyond words at school, terrible living conditions, oppressive structures that limited their freedoms in ways that didn't touch me. My childhood wasn't a cakewalk all the time, but I was not in mortal danger, I never worried about my next meal, I could trust my family with nearly anything I was going through, I was not often sick, I did not often struggle with academic issues in school, and I felt valued and liked my life. I was optimistic about the future. My identity and abilities were fostered by my environment and made me want to become someone important--and made me think I actually could.
The only complaint I have really is I wish the Internet had been around earlier. :P