Like so many other people, I spent a large portion of my childhood watching Swiss Family Robinson, reading Walter Farley books, and building Robin Hood pirate fort dude ranches out of Legos.
Now this is important, because my goal was not necessarily to build Robin Hood pirate fort dude ranches, but my Lego options were limited to just that. Eldorado Fortress. Google it. It's one thing to play with Legos, but it's a different situation entirely when you're playing Eldorado Fucking Fortress. And I was mixing it with the stable and the Sherwood Forest shit (I totally don't remember its name but the Lego men were all Robin Hoody and lived in a fucking tree and they had a vine they used to swing across the two inch river).
Are you aware that my Eldorado Fortress had a horse trainer? Totally. She was a young woman with brown Lego hair who snuck into Eldorado on a rowboat under the guise of a punk soldier after getting shipwrecked on a nearby island, where wild ponies and merry men ran free. True story. And after earning the respect of the most honored horsemen within the mighty ocean fortress she revealed herself to be - ah ha! A girl! And her boyfriend was Robin Hood! And then they took over the Eldorado Fortress and made it their private sea fort, and lived in days of relaxation and wonder, exploring the neighboring island, building extravagant treehouses and befriending all of the wild ponies, and their children grew up to be presidents because they were raised with the perfect blend of freedom and regulation!
Seriously, did you know about all the shit going down at Eldorado Fortress?
So I decided, officially, that childhood interests are destructive. Watching Swiss Family Robinson is horrible for young girls, because I still want that. Robin Hood isn't real and Fritz isn't real and the Black Stallion isn't real, and no one steals from the rich and rides zebras in the Kentucky Derby and throws coconut bombs at angry Asian pirates. Horseshit.
And then I read this back to myself, this list of things that I identified with as a child that completely influenced my behavior and interests as an adult. Not like, OMG robinhoodpirateponies yar or anything like that, but the mindset, the characters' perceptions and goals and how they related to each other - I wanted to be on the fringe, forced to prove myself in some way because extreme circumstances demanded it for my survival. Obviously, that never happened.
Then again, why couldn't it happen? Why sit around and wait for it to happen? Why shouldn't I just live like it is happening, right now? I'm not saying I should dress up like a naval officer and sneak into a sea fort and tell people I'm Robin Hood's girlfriend, but that character - I wanted to be her. So, I should try to be like her.
And then I made a list of characteristics that defined her, the girl I wanted to be, and I realized that I basically am her already but outside of the circumstances of my fantasy, and that's kind of neat.
AND THEN, my sister sent me this article, saying, "I feel like this interview with Umberto Eco justifies your whole life. Particularly this quote: 'I like lists for the same reason other people like football or pedophilia. People have their preferences.'"
This is the first time she has ever shown any interest in my life without antagonistic ridicule. I nearly cried.