When I was about 5 years old and visiting my paternal grandparents, I got bit by a dog. In my butt. I remember the raw panic when I saw the dog chase me, me turning around to run and then .... ouch.
You probably think I am terrified of dogs and have an unholy fear of them. I don't. Never have. I love dogs. We've had dogs in my house from when I was 12 and I cannot imagine not being around dogs, not petting them or playing with them - any dog that I see, I want to play and pet.
I don't know why I was not scared shitless of dogs after that incident. Maybe I just forgot that incident and was just fine. Kids and their naivety eh!
Today, when I deconstruct that memory, and a few details are so precise, I am glad that my 5-year old self was awesome about this. The dog that bit me had just had puppies. Her puppies were on a mound of sand, you know the kind outside construction sites. And I went to play with them and I had a stick in my hand that I was just waving about. The dog thought I was gonna harm its pups and did what it is programmed to do - bit me. It didn't realise I was just a stupid kid waving a stick about for no reason and seeing puppies, wanted to play with them.
There are probably many instances of me being turned off from something because I metaphorically got bit in the butt. And because I did not (back then) have the understanding to introspect and deconstruct a situation, I probably have missed out on doing a bunch of things and have identified myself as "I don't like that" or "I won't do this".
That's just silly.
While I am glad I didn't let that dog incident turn me away from dogs, that memory got me thinking about what I have turned away from. Maybe it will be fun and uncomfortable to try again. For now, only one unpleasant thing comes to mind - learning Hindi. I just never got languages, especially that one. It was the first exam that I failed and back then, I was a 1st or 2nd rank kid - getting under 90 was not on the cards, let alone failing! Unfathomable.
I did run away from that bite. But maybe, just maybe, as distasteful as it feels, I can give it another shot. Italian, maybe.