Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Fifth Child. How place in the family influences one`s personality and role in life

I am the last of five children in my family, - by a long shot. I am an ‘accident’ and that tail-end-Charlie place has influenced my life and personality. I recognize myself in my siblings and in my parents, to some degree, but it is very much as if we have the same genetic notes but each of us has played them differently. By the time I was born in wartime England, the family dynamic was already well established. There were leaders, followers, youngest. And then, later, me, the survivor of identical twins. I was a passenger and the rest were crew.

If one has no real function in the family dynamic it is natural to turn away, to become independent of social hierarchies and view the world as an observer. Natural too to always be a little unsure of the whole complex of social roles that are learned within family life. One can understand everyone else`s passionate viewpoint but still be far removed from the hurly burly.

Being a passenger left me able to choose my own direction and interests, although without the family pattern to follow, finding my own way was pretty directionless at first. I always had an interest in art for example, but there was no understanding of that quality in the family. It was as if no one else wanted that role so I was free to take it if I must. All the regular and serious jobs were already assigned. I was free, but alone.

If one is like Pluto, circling way out there, far from the center, one has a splendid view of the whole planetary system in one direction but one is also free to look out into the galaxy and view the heavens as well. A larger view of things is built into my position. I have specialized in thinking outside the system.

I`m obviously not a joiner of organizations that expect acceptance of a set of beliefs. I may be interested in systems of thought but am always pointing out alternate ways of understanding, - pulling disparate ideas together and showing their similarities, their function. I am a reader and researcher and a creative thinker in general as well as in the arts. Not many people do this so there is a role for me to express the creative idea. Even way out here on the margins of the solar system I have chosen my role to play.

The best thing to happen for me was to marry and raise a family. What I missed in my birth family I could gain within a new one. A central part of a team, a breadwinner, a supporter of others. A rounding out and fulfilling of otherwise missed opportunities. Not a leader within relationship, that would be expecting a bit much of Pluto, but instead, a team player. In fact, I was the representative of my family of origin and could be my whole crew of siblings.

All those adventures we have gone on, working in foreign lands and sailing the seas. That fits so nicely with a viewer of the heavens. Already turned outward, it is a simple step to travel there. New peoples with new patterns of thought, new lands like distant galaxies to travel to. Those long sailing voyages so like wanderings through space between the stars.

So in the end I am happy to have been the last in line, to be who I have become. To be still becoming, because creative people never stop creating themselves.


Ernst Göran Westlund said...

Very nicely told, this story of your life, how you became what you are!

Ernst Göran Westlund said...

Very nicely told, this story of your life, how you became what you are!