I have lived a sheltered life. Mostly out of fear, but somewhat out of lack of opportunity. I grew up feeling I was different, always on the outside looking in at the ‘popular’ or ‘cool’ or ‘beautiful’ people. I never fit the mold. I was a chubby child, extremely shy, and started wearing glasses in the 4th grade…all social stigmas. I also tend to be a homebody. I consider my house my sanctuary…the one place I can go at the end of the day to escape the world. I can take off my shoes, get comfortable and relax.
A lot of my sheltered lifestyle is self-imposed. As I got older, I became more conservative. I don’t watch R-rated movies. I hate the profanity, I hate the voyeuristic sexual content and innuendo that seems to be rampant in most sitcoms and movies. PG-13 movies are sometimes worse. They have propagated the lie that using God’s name as a swear word is perfectly acceptable. I hate that even more than I hate f-bombs. After all, I grew up on Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy as stand up comedians and at least those words are totally ‘out there’ and honest.
A disadvantage in being sheltered, is I can’t always ‘read’ people. I tend to believe what they say until someone else points out their lie. I’m not saying everyone lies, but a great many people lie so often, it is a lifestyle they find difficult to keep track of. The sad part is when you let your guard down, trust someone, and then are lied to. Casual acquaintances don’t touch you deeply and you usually can shrug those off. It is the ones who get under your skin, touch you in unexpected ways, the ones who gain your trust and the ones who can step on that trust and your feelings without realizing how deeply they have disappointed. Those are the ones who cause us to withdraw a little, become a little more jaded and cynical and cause that trickle-down effect that affects how we react to the next person in our lives. So we learn to live two-sided…we can be cynical on the one hand and can also trusting…a curious way to live.
Because of my choices, I never see most of the movies at the Academy Awards and wouldn’t approve of most of them. The same thing happens with what I choose to read. I never found a book with an R-rating on it so have become careful about what I will pay to read. I am no longer interested in gratuitous sex or violence. I am not entertained by that. I have never liked ‘slasher’ or ‘blood and guts’ or extreme psychological thrillers. What’s left? you say? I have lived with mood swings and depression in the past, so staying on a level keel and striving for peace and stress-free living is important to me. I like Christian novels and like some autobiographies and political or good guy/bad guys stories. I tend not to respect an author or even an actor who can’t portray anger without strong profanity. Showing my age, I suppose, but still my choice.
Another thing that I am ignorant about, is various types of music. An odd thing coming from a former music major, but I tend to like only a couple types of music. I have listened almost exclusively to Christian music for the past 20 some odd years. I do like Southern Gospel Gaither-style. They have the best harmony. I also have discovered Country Music. That is interesting since as a girl I hated ‘country twang’ like Loretta, Conway etc. I love the standards now like Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, Reba, Rascal Flatt, Trait Akins, Brad Paisley, the Band Perry, and Taylor Swift. I used to believe most couldn’t sing, couldn’t write and couldn’t play, but most are extremely talented and hard-working musicians. Funny how we tend to change. I’m watching the Grammys and find I am clueless about most of the music which is another sign of my sheltered life. I used to want to be ‘well-rounded’ in everything, especially in reading, or general knowledge, but I guess it can’t be helped. We all gravitate sooner or later to what we like and enjoy the most and don’t worry about the rest. I’ll just have to continue to enjoy my sheltered life. I never saw the point of someone singing in their underwear anyway. Don’t they trust the music or the song? Something to think about.