Fashionably Irrelevant

The past can hold many clues for us.

For me one of my earliest memories held a clue that I had the Highly Sensitive Person Trait (HSP) as well as (HSS) High Sensation Seeking.

This is one such memory.



Incontinence is irrelevant when there’s stuff to see, people to meet and things to do.

Others must’ve agreed with this premise too because, well, diapers have been around a long time…… and Ghandi sometimes wore a white cloth diaper-looking piece of clothing, as an adult, when he didn’t even need to… or maybe he was making a fashion statement loaded with hidden symbolism…

At any rate, one of my earlier memories was when I was about two-and-a-half-years-old. I was sporting diapers the majority of the time, and currently I was focused on figuring out how the front door worked. I’d been paying close attention to how the front door knob worked for weeks, watching… observing how the round handle had to be turned, held in the turn position and then pulled towards you so the door would open.

Then you could let go of the handle.

It took me awhile to figure this out.

Weeks actually.

There are only so many times the big ones came and went during the day.

Repeatedly I’d wait for the opportunity to watch how they operated the doorknob, while sitting on our living room carpet, an orange and brown pattern common to most homes in North America in the late sixties. We lived in a middle class home, in a middle class neighbourhood.

Paddy’s hair was usually mixed in with the carpeting. Paddy was an Afghan mutt, a mixed breed, and often his cold, wet nose on some part of my arm, neck or leg would intermittently interrupt me throughout the day. When it did, I’d look into his soulful, playful eyes and receive a sloppy kiss as a thank you for registering his presence. One of his large floppy ears would invariably slap me on the side of my face either before, during or after his sloppy kiss. But he was letting me know he was “in” on whatever it was I was thinking and doing.

Which was great, but he couldn’t open doors. So while I appreciated his moral support, I was pretty much on my own in the current venture I was tackling.

My reward; knowing how to open the front door.

Now it was a matter of waiting.

Patiently waiting for my opportunity.  

Because I wanted to open it “BY MYSELF,” no big ones. And then go exploring. The big ones said “no” to me a lot, and by a lot I mean ALL the time, so they probably wouldn’t want me to go exploring. So I’d have to make sure neither of them was in the immediate vicinity. Which meant my Mom would have to be busy with something or someone else, one of my brothers, in some other part of the house. My Dad was usually at work.

And when it felt like the right time I soundlessly, and with whatever degree of stealth a two-and-a-half-year-old can possess, left my home in the middle of the morning on that warm autumn day. No clothes or shoes, just a diaper.

Opportunities don’t always present themselves at opportune times – sometimes you might not be dressed for the occasion. Not an issue unless you make it one, really.

In any case, proper attire was low on my list of priorities - high on my list was exploring and I’d explored every nook and cranny in my home until there was nothing left to explore. So clearly it was time to branch out.

But this time I drove my poor Mom to unknowable terror.  She found me two hours later, after calling the police and while slowly driving around our neighborhood frantically screaming my name out the car window, tears streaming down her face.

She found me sitting companionably with three guys, construction workers, on their lunch break. They were building a house in our neighbourhood. The four of us were sitting side by side eating lunch, facing the quiet side street, on a long wood plank resting on some cement blocks, dirt and small grey stones lying peacefully under our feet.

I must’ve convinced one of them to share their lunch with me because I was eating half a peanut butter and jam sandwich. One needs sustenance when travelling.

And I kept chewing thoughtfully while watching my Mom hurriedly slam the light blue Ford Fairmont into park, quickly grapple with the inside door handle, ungracefully exit the car (leaving the car door open), and start awkwardly running towards me.

While she was running towards me I registered her fear, relief, anger, joy, some resentment and other subtler emotions.

Such a lot of emotions.

Her emotions seemed completely out of context to our calm, companionable silence.

Her energy seemed odd to me, but what I did understand was that she was afraid and that her fear, like nauseous waves of excrement, were coming at me in waves.

Or maybe that was a result of an errant breeze illuminating the state of my diaper at that moment…

But I didn’t understand why she was fearful though. So that confused me. But I did understand that I’d gone too far for her liking.

But in the end you can’t help who you are or what drives you, and my curiosity and exploring is ingrained in me.

And thankfully I’ve now been given the gift of understanding why.

Understanding that I’m a High Sensation Seeking Highly Sensitive Person.

That I have the HSP Trait. As well as HSS.

But when I was two-and-a-half-years-old, the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) Trait wouldn’t be scientifically discovered for another twenty-seven years. And it would be another twenty years after that when I somehow stumbled onto it online while searching the terms “energy” and “highly sensitive”.

By then I’d been on many expeditions, what I consider an Underworld journey to Soul and back, and earned enough information to begin understanding how important this new information was to me.

For me. A Gift.

But unlike the past, I’m not interested in exploring what’s “out there”. I’ve been fortunate enough to have gathered a lot of information, half a century of information in fact.

And all of it has been useful to some extent, but only insofar as what I need to know in order to continue growing, and “being” in a way in a way that serves me, makes me happy and allows me to do the same for others.

So now I’m exploring what’s within me. Because it's the right time.


They're calling... 

The spiritual jewels are reclining in the uneven, smooth, white marble crevasses of the cave walls, resting peacefully, glittering and glowing in the dark like stars – and they're calling to me, asking me to hold them and listen to their whispers….

Rayne DowellComment