It is pretty weird that the only Ralphs I know are two diametrically opposed ones: Ralph Kramden from the Honeymooners and Ralph Waldo Emerson (birthday today) who entered Harvard at fourteen.
It just reminds me that life is happenstance for the most part. You can't choose your parents and you grow up weed-like in their garden as it were. You are exposed to things, you meet people and you experience things, each of us going in his/her direction based on influences. If you head off to college you'd expect your parents to support you during those foundational years, but often that is not the case except for wealthy families. Lots of folks (myself included) had to sweat and strain for an education and the way life is lived, including what we wind up loving and hating and admiring and letting go of - these are things that are not entirely within our own grasp, at least not initially.
And then there is lovely retrospection, an opportunity for learning anew and trying over and over again to get it right, to get a (new) perspective that is not a pigeonholed view of the world, that tries to get light in all the way around.
I'm lucky, or I consider myself lucky, that was exposed to music and art and a love of beauty at an early age and invited to read a diverse group of authors and exposed to the odd assortment of things that makes me the quirky person I am now. These fortunate events helped me re-spin who I was/am. Not to be a superficial better, but an actual better. If I were the same person I was as when I was 23, I'd be a big fat pain in the ass and I'm grateful I'm not that person. I hope I continue to evolve, even though my age seems to advance faster than my goals. But I'm thinking that the happenstance of life is quilt-like. I guess I feel tonight that fate must have a hand in it. Not sure what you think. I'm still thinking about it. Two Ralphs, sheesh. You'd think I'd know more than two.
C. D. Finley
Opinionated, wry, sometimes corny, observational humor mostly about writing, but you never know.