in Business, Creativity, Motivation, Music, Philosophy, Psychology

The Real Hunger Games – Why I Appreciate Having A Rough Childhood

“One of the luckiest things that can happen to you in life is, I think, to have a happy childhood.”

– Agatha Christie

While I was getting acupuncture my mind started flying away into the past. Usually I try to stay in the moment but thought: “Well, let’s see where this goes”.

It went to some pretty dark places, some wonderful places and some average places.

It also started comparing my childhood to those of others. This is a sure fire way to start feeling jealous.

Then it dawned on me exactly how lucky I was.

Lucky Luke - Sunset

That’s enough bang-bang for one day.

Without those experiences I wouldn’t have been as hungry as I am. I wouldn’t have had the same drive to want to accomplish things and “get the hell out of Dodge”.

Some of my friends stayed. They were of the mindset “it’s no use”. Some were lucky enough to have parents who could afford to provide opportunities in a completely different way.

My mom was awesome. Even when there wasn’t money she managed to find ways of providing me with precisely the things I needed.

Want Need - Venn

Venning!

Later on she met the guy who would become my father (biological father left pretty early on) and they could afford to give me a guitar and computer. I know how lucky I am. Plenty of other kids didn’t have those opportunities.

What I paid attention to though was all the things we didn’t have or couldn’t afford. I’d also seen how my mom had to scrape by and save every penny so that she, my grandmother. sister and me could visit relatives in Finland every year.

The lesson I learned was that I had to create better circumstances for myself and my family. I became determined to succeed. I chose the path of music and boy did that not go the way I’d planned.

It turned out for the better though.

Jump Across Chasm

Gravity can kiss my flying butt! Wiieh!

So the other side of the coin was the thought: “What if I’d had a more comfortable childhood? Who would I have been today?”.

It scared the shit out of me.

I started thinking about friends & acquaintances who’d had opportunities handed to them on a silver platter and either squandering them or turning them down outright.

Me? I was dreaming about those, figuring out ways of making them happen. Dafuq was wrong with those people?

Well, they were something that I wasn’t: Satisfied.

Satisfied Worker

Henry Rollins done gone corporate.

I’m looking for something more, I expect something more, I want something more.

What do I do when I get there? I try to enjoy it for a while and then it’s: “So, what’s next?”.

Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Yes. No. Both.

They’re just different. There are times when I feel I’d give up the hunger to feel satisfied for more than a couple of days. You know? Really appreciating what is rather than constantly looking forward or looking at what needs improving.

At the same time I’m kind of worried about what would happen if I woke up one day and I didn’t need to reach that next level. Would I end up sitting around the house in my underwear, playing PS4, eating chips for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Would I give it all up to travel the world and meditate? Would I actually be 100% happy?

Pharrell Happy Hat

Happiness sold seperately.

I understand people who’ve had a good childhood and gotten a lot of opportunities. They’ve had their own struggles. And my friends, the struggle is real. Some issues money, privilege and opportunities can’t fix. Saying things like: “Well, atleast you’ve got this, this and this” isn’t going to help them.

What really got me thinking was thinking about how my future children would turn out. They’d probably have it pretty set. Hopefully no major issues and a comfortable life. Would that lead them to be less hungry than I am? Would that in some way limit what they’d be willing to strive for? How can I give them the same understanding without putting them through the same things?

I’ve got this weird feeling that I’m going to be sitting with the kids saying things like: “You know, back in my day we had walk barefoot to and from school, uphill, both ways.”

Pose Revok - Uphill Bothways

“Misdemeanor” by Pose, from “Uphill Both Ways” by Pose & Revok. That’s right, I went artsy on your ass!

What was your childhood like? Was it the school of hard knocks? Was it pretty awesome? What are the downsides? What are the benefits?

Leave a comment and hit me up on Twitter!

Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!

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  1. Great post and really interesting point there, I also think that your childhood affects you a lot – as a kid you don’t overthink things, what you see is raw and simple to draw conclusions from. Anyone who’s had a tough childhood has had to make that choice early on – to kick butts in life or to feel self-pity and find excuses to ignore life completely. It’s a choice, however unconscious.

    My story involves war experience (with all that this implies) and I did understand pretty early on what life really is about, and how human beings behave in different situations. As tough as it might have been (for a looooong time after the experience), the strengths and knowledge I’ve acquired are priceless and I’m grateful for having them.

    As you said, you might be lucky – but you’re definitely very intelligent!

    • You’re absolutely right! It would’ve been very easy to travel down a different path had the circumstances or people around you only changed even a little.

      Thank you for sharing, that’s… It takes some serious strength to go through and still be able to look at with a sense of gratitude. I admire that. =)

      Thanks! While it took some work to get there I couldn’t have done it without such an amazing mom. Also, the kindness of strangers goes a long, long way!