Patricia also felt like she was not acceptable in her original form as a child. Her parents had also wanted their child to fit in with society and be successful in life and so they taught her what was acceptable and what was not. For years Patricia struggled with this until one day she realized, by putting herself in her parents’ shoes, why they did the things they did. She understood the era they had been raised in, the baggage they had accumulated from their own personal experiences that shaped them into who they were when they had given birth to her. She could understand why the lessons they stressed made sense to them in their lives and why it was important to them to teach her what they did. Her parents did not want her to learn the hard way and she now understood this.
Patricia also understood that while many of the things she had been taught were still valid today, some were not. She consciously chose which ones to maintain and which ones to let go. She used her awareness to tell the difference between behavior her parents truly found appalling that she should avoid at all costs and actions for which they knew society would shun her. She reasoned that children naturally try out behaviors and personalities as part of a discovery process. She knew she had tried on some ugly masks too, as part the process of learning who she really was.
She was not afraid to admit that she had made mistakes in her life and that she had a lot to learn. She knew that this was the only way to acquire knowledge. If one does not recognize one is ignorant, then there can be no hope of education. With a firm appreciation for the knowledge she did have, she was quite aware of her ignorance and in admitting to it, felt no shame.
It was because of this attitude that she was able to ask questions of people without fearing they would think her stupid. Quite the contrary, people loved talking to Patricia because she always asked them about things they knew about and this made them feel good about themselves. Because she was not afraid to ask, she had learned a lot of valuable information on a variety of things in a relatively short life.