A therapist gave me the upcoming as an assignment once: write down the major events of each year, including but not limited to memories, impressions, mental photographs, and anything else that defined that year for me. At the time, I was only 30 and so this exercise didn’t take too long because my memory still worked and there weren’t so many years.
And then I left the list in my car when I had it serviced and no one at Sheen’s Auto Care ever looked at me the same way again.
For this PROMPTuesday (I’m coming back! I promise!), I want you to write down your years. Let’s start with age 9 and go to 11. I plan to do this exercise in increments, so subsequent prompts will address each time period intermittently throughout the rest of 2013 (HOLY FLASHING LIFE BEFORE MY EYES).
So I’ll start. As you’ll see, I wrote down incomplete sentences and memory flashes. For this, that’s perfectly fine – that’s often how memories appear in our heads.
Attending fourth grade at Audubon school in Foster City, CA. Drawing a topographic map of San Bernardino, CA. Falling in love with Kenny McMullen. Having a dream about him kissing me as I lay in a wedding dress on a stone altar (perhaps Snow White-inspired). Having a best friend who lived by the school and a park and who had a really quiet house. Losing my three-year-old sister from the house and imagining her chopped up in bits in the fridge. The whole neighborhood looking for her thought I was weird. I was. Having to move to Chicago and really, really hating the idea. Driving to Chicago in my dad’s chocolate brown Cadillac. Getting caught in a blizzard. Going to St. Mary’s halfway through fourth grade and feeling miserable and displaced. Opting out of the mandatory Science Fair while my homeroom teacher took pity on me and passed me into fifth grade with flying colors.
Getting into my groove at St. Mary’s. Having Mister Krage for homeroom and Sister Camille for religion. Making friends who would stay with me to this day (at least one). Remember seeing “bras” under the white blouses of our Catholic school uniforms and wondering when I would get one. Making friends with Lori Swisher, Theresa Reiland, and Lauretta Tagli. Thinking maybe Chicago wouldn’t completely suck.
Loving Greg Anderson and sitting next to him in language arts. Loving art and music. Finding out Robert Cunningham was “in love” with me and would continue to be so throughout eighth grade. Having Robert Cunningham kiss me on the cheek in Sister Camille’s class and getting in trouble. Having Robert Cunningham leave me some Valentine’s candies on my desk in homeroom with a note telling me the “love big had bitten him.” Remember getting very excitable when I had things to accomplish and remembering that feeling as driving and sustaining me. Became obsessed with getting on the honor roll. Watched Greg Anderson and Tony Peridotti walk around the room during social studies class to see if the teacher would notice. Remember learning how to spell Czechoslovakia and how to write checks.
Now you! Please post your submission in the comments OR post in your blog and leave a link to your blog in the comments. This little exercise could spark story ideas or post fodder or just make you remember why you are who you are.
To bone up on PROMPTuesdays, read a bit about it here.