It's a matter of knowing who you are and just keeping with that.
Good manners and respecting your elders, a sense of community, holding a conversation at a social event - that's how I grew up.
I don't avoid pain by not remembering something; I try to remember. Memory is empowering, and it's what gives you your sense of continuity in the world.
When I was younger, when I thought of myself as older, I would have these little flashes of fame, but then they would go away because it always seemed so far off.
I play a bit of a strategic game with choosing roles that might be educational, insightful, or inspiring. I try and find characters that represent what I would like to see on TV, being a little bit more open-minded, less stereotypical.
I kind of see myself as a cartoon that's on its way to becoming a real person that has to find that special amulet or mushroom to get to that next realm or level. I don't feel like anything is that tangible. It freaks me out, why I feel unhappy or conflicted and why that can change on a dime.