"All things truly wicked start from innocence." Ernest Hemingway
Innocence is a precious commodity. Innocence is a gift you receive when you are young. Innocence, once lost, is irreplaceable. It cannot be replaced. It cannot be bought. It cannot be bartered for. It is the most wonderful thing in the world that you cannot fully appreciate until it is gone...
How did you lose your innocence? Perhaps the question assumes to much in very it's asking but perhaps not. How you lost your innocence is full dependent on your definition since there are many ways to 'lose it.' A few examples include being sexually active for the first time, the loss of a loved one, the failed realization of a life's dream, getting older and discovering how jaded and imperfect our elders
were are, broken promises or that moment when you learn that you aren't indestructible, invincible or untouchable---based on your definition, can you pinpoint yours?
My proverbial 'cherry' was popped a few years ago when I was mugged in the Baltimore projects on a Sunday, yes Sunday, morning. My wallet was emptied, my phone stolen and face punched multiple times but all that still pales in comparison to what I actually lost--my innocence.
By nature, I am very trusting and I have always tended to expect the best out of people which, yes, is quite naive but that is the beauty and gift of innocence. Like a child, I was innocent, naive and trusting because I had no reason not to be. Having lived all over the world, including east coast cities like Atlanta, I never thought anything 'terrible' could happen to me.
Anxiety is the beginning of conscience, which is the parent of the soul but is not compatible with innocence. - Angela Carter
At least for me, the loss of innocence has been replaced by the naughty charcoal that is anxiety. Once you are less trusting and naive, you begin to expect 'bad' or undesirable things to happen (to you) and you might feel anxious in new situations. Sadly, losing innocence in any capacity seems to require it to be filled by something else. Like Rand Robert R. Jordan's Eye of the World series, you are tainted. Agony and ecstasy become more interchangeable. Life, as you knew it, has been
Thankfully, there is hope in the perpetual healer that is 'time.' Past woes diminish in importance and future happiness is there for the taking. With age comes the loss of youthful innocence but it brings with it wisdom and understanding. If you think I am just waxing poetic, don't. Last week I moved to inner city Boston to being graduate school and I am willing, and excited, to live in a city. I'm sure to have anxious moments here and there, both for myself and my wife, but, as Kurt Vonnegut says, "so it goes."
Time? - 3 mile run (with A.R.M.)