Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Blast From the Past: 10-20-30 Year Meme

I was tagged by Misadventures of the Dynamic Uno to take a trip down memory lane. Care to come with me?

10 years ago - Ten years ago I graduated with my masters degree and embarked on my career path. What was I thinking?! I guess it couldn't have been too bad because I'm still with the same agency, only in a different position. I was young and a bit of an idealist back then. I believed I could make a difference. Although a bit of a cynic now, I still believe I chose the right path to follow career wise. I am proud of the work I do even if some days I wish I had gone into a more lucrative profession that would have allowed for an early retirement.

Although I had not lived in my parents' home full-time since I first entered college, in many ways, 1997 was the year I completely broke away from the nest. I had been paying my own way for awhile and psychologically was more a visitor in my parents' home at that point, but there's something to be said for finally packing up my childhood room, taking that long last look and knowing it would no longer be mine. I was all grown up.

This was also the year my husband and I began really planning our wedding. The ideas were solidified, reservations were beginning to be made. We had been engaged since the end of spring 1995, and so it was about time. We both were working by this time, had settled into our lives outside of school and were ready to take on the world. We got married the following year.

20 years ago - The spring of 1987 was church confirmation. I vaguely remember the Sunday school lessons, but I do remember quite vividly our trip to San Francisco to tour some of the more well known churches such as Glide Memorial United Methodist Church and Grace Cathedral. I was blown away by the beauty of Grace Cathedral and quite smitten with the enthusiasm and diverse Glide Memorial Church. It was modern and loud--and inspiring. We also got to talk with a night preacher who shared with us his experiences on the streets of San Francisco with the homeless and young prostitutes. It made quite an impression on me.

That summer my parents, brother and I took a road trip from California to Pennsylvania to visit my father's family. I grew up far away from my cousins, paternal grandparents and the majority of my aunts and uncles, never really knowing them. This was only my second visit to Pennsylvania. While my cousins checked out their not so cool California cousins, I was in awe of their togetherness and confidence. I most remember walking through the small town my grandmother lives in with four of my cousins and my brother. The boys were challenged to a game of basketball by a group of boys at a school where we stopped. My cousins and the boys they were playing nearly got into a fight. I thought that was so cool. Had I been home in the city, I would have been scared to death (as if that would have made a difference--somehow it did for me back then). The atmosphere there was so homey and comfortable. I loved it. We also visited my New York cousins, and I developed the habit of sucking on ice before bed each night, something I would do for a good part of my childhood.

September came, and I entered my freshman year of high school. Because we lived a good distance away from the school, I would ride with my mother to the school where she was teaching and spend the early mornings with her before walking the rest of the way to my own school. At the end of the day, I would walk back to her her school and hang out in her classroom until she was ready to go home. I loved the time I spent in her classroom on those afternoons. School was out, and so it was often just me alone in the classroom. I would sometimes work on my homework, daydream or maybe work on whatever story I was writing at the time. I also helped my mom decorate her classroom, grade papers and worked on other projects she might want me to help with. I admit that sometimes I would get impatient and beg my mother to hurry up so we could go, but overall, I look back with great fondness on that time.

My favorite class my freshman year was math, which may be quite surprising for those who know me well. I had a great teacher who made working with numbers fun.

I have not so fond memories of my English class, I am afraid. Seating arrangements usually involved the alphabetizing of students by their last names and my teacher that year was no different. Alas, that meant being seated right in front of and next to two boys whom I still have less than pleasant thoughts about. They made life difficult for me in middle school and continued to do that our freshman year of high school. If you have ever been a victim of bullying, you probably understand.

30 years ago - My family was living in Hawaii at the time. My father was stationed there, a Marine in the U.S. Military. I have always been a little envious that my brother can claim Hawaii as his birth place. He was born in October, 31 years ago.

Early in 1977, I got drunk for the first and only time in my life. I do not remember any of this, but I've heard the stories over and over. My parents tell me I went around and finished off everyone's cocktail at a party. At least I don't remember the hangover the next morning.

I was in preschool during this time, and I hated nap time. I was always getting in trouble for not staying quiet on my mat. There was a big tree house in the classroom that I love to climb and play inside. I cannot recall if it was a real tree, but it was quite big.

I met my first witch that year. And she didn't have a pointy hat or a wart on her nose like I thought she might. She gave me a beautiful doll who is not quite so beautiful anymore. I went through a hair cutting phase later in my childhood and some of my dolls suffered the consequences.

My parents would tell you I had my first crush about this time in my life (I deny it to this day as we were really only friends, but you know parents. They see two young children playing together, and it must be love). He was a boy named Patrick. He evidently was the first boy I ever kissed. Or so I am told.

There you have a slice of my life all those many years ago. I wish I could have peppered the memories with talk of books, however, no books immediately stand out during those years for me. You can be sure I was reading though.

I am not going to tag anyone in particular for this meme, but if you have yet to travel down memory lane, I would be happy to go with you. Be sure and let me know if you do!

14 comments:

  1. How fun! I'm afraid I'm going to have to hold off on doing this survey for a few years. I wasn't alive 30 years ago.

    BUT I did love your answers and will be browsing other blogs to see if they did it, too.

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  2. Niki - I feel like I barely fit in under the mark with the 30 years. :-)

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  3. Thanks for sharing, Wendy! I enjoyed reading your post and I felt I have learnt a little more about you. :)

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  4. wendy, I thought i would pop in and see what you have been up to and loved reading this meme. I can see you helping your mom in her classroom after school, too. You must have been a cutie! I agree with what Melody wrote. It was nice to get to know you better through this.
    Jody

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  5. You got drunk at preschool? Oh my Goodness. How did that happen?

    I think I'm older at least 10 years older than you, because I alive in 1967!!

    I think I will do this meme too.

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  6. Wow, you're young!

    I can't believe you got drunk as a preschooler. Parents can be arrested for letting such a thing happen, these days. I'll bet they watched you carefully, after that experience!

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  7. Melody - This was a fun meme to do, although I wasn't sure if it would be interesting enough at first. :-)

    Jody - Good to see you! I enjoyed those moments after school quite a bit. It was especially nice when it was raining because her classroom had big windows on two sides and I could watch the rain in between whatever it was I was doing.

    Historia - Technically I hadn't started preschool yet when I got drunk. I was only three at the time and turned 4 later that year (which was when I entered preschool). I just went around finishing off everyone's cocktails and drinks that were left lying around at a party. I didn't know any better and no one bothered to stop me. I think the grown-ups thought it was funny. I look forward to reading your answers!

    Nancy - It's nice to be considered young. :-) Yes, letting children get drunk today is very much frowned upon. Back then it was cute and funny for the grown ups, I think. Still, not very smart.

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  8. This was fun to read, and I'm going to take you up on the "open invitation" to do this meme on my blog. Thanks!

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  9. Wow what fun. I'm glad to get to know you a little better with that look into your past. How long were you in Hawaii? And bullying can become intolerable, my son had a bad time of it also. I'm sorry you had to go through that. "They" say everything happens for a reason. Bullying might be the exception to that rule. Oh and I loved the story of you as a preschooler getting drunk. Classic!

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  10. Florinda - Thank you! I will definitely stop by and get to know you better via this meme. :-)

    Jaimie - I lived in Hawaii for three years. Yes, bullying is intolerable and no child or person should have to endure that. I did learn from that experience and it helped shape who I am, but that doesn't make it right or excuse the behavior of those boys.

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  11. This was really fun to read. Thanks for sharing! We mustn't be too far apart in age since I'm turning 35 soon. :)

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  12. Tanabata - I'm glad you liked it. :-) Yes, we are very close in age. I just turned 34 this past month.

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  13. Hi Wendy! Oooo.. you've done this before... :)

    My grandpa fed me with Guinness Stout when I was very, very young. Well, it's good to start from young. Haha!

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  14. It's a fun one and I enjoyed looking back over the past few years. Thanks for tagging me, Alice!

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