Monday, November 2, 2015

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 2

Your Earliest Memory:

Growing up is to let things go – that embarrassing moment from middle school you thought you would never get over, your first crush, your first love, friends and moments that seemed to drift away without your realizing and, sometimes, the good memories that go along with them. You don’t mean to forget Christmases and birthdays, what your grandfather's face looked like, the name of your kindergarten teacher. It all disappears on its own – sometimes triggered back into your life at odd moments and sometimes not, but you still feel the absence of it; a great, wonderful Used To Be that is no more. I have a lot of “early memories” crammed into a corner of my mind I rarely visit, simply because attempting to sort through what actually happened and what my brain has conjured up in an attempt to fill these fuzzy holes within my memory is too great a task.

I have only lived three places my entire life; two houses and one trailer with my parents and our ever-growing family. We lived in a trailer park for the first two or three years of my life, moving out shortly after my brother was born. There wasn't a lot of room, but we didn't need it. I don't remember much from the time we spent there—I was pretty young—but I do recall a particularly fun Easter afternoon spent hunting colored eggs in our “backyard.” I relive the memory almost like an out-of-body experience; me, running through the grass in a cute Easter dress, trying to find the eggs before my cousins did. My twenty-five year old self does not find this memory particularly exciting or different (I have had many Easters since then), but, for some reason, this one sticks out in my mind.

I remember my laser-eye surgery (a very memorable experience for a three-year old), hiding on the staircase in an attempt to scare my cousin in our first house, dangling my legs out of our garage's second-story window with my father (despite my mother's protests), playing with my friends at school, threatening to run away over something silly, building my own, personal fort at the top of my closet in our second house, getting into trouble for jumping off of our deck onto a trampoline (my dad's idea), experiencing my first crush in seventh grade, cold, winter mornings in high school, playing bells at church, performing on stage with my school's choir and our backstage shenanigans during May Fiesta, our trip to Chicago, my first kiss... So many wonderful, dreadful, random memories came pouring out when I sat down to write today, and I was surprised by how fuzzy some of them have become; how difficult it was to tell reality apart from what I thought had happened. This is what you let go of when you get older – you forget the embarrassing stuff you never thought you would forget, the stuff that seemed important at the time, and hold on to things that you probably would have deemed unimportant. It's sad, but also kind of great, too. I hope there are many more of these “small” moments to come.

What is your earliest memory?

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I will be participating in the 30 day Writing challenge every day this month, but will not be posting all of them. If you're curious, you can view the list of challenges here.

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