It bums me out that I cannot remember much of my childhood. All I vaguely recall is that I had a damn good one.
I’m sure I’m not alone in my inability to remember people, places, and things from my formative years. I’m guessing there are more people like me out there than there are people with photographic memories.
Something I read recently in a book helped me resurface a mental moment in time from my junior high years.
I’m not sure what grade I was in, but I had to come up with a science fair project. I can only assume the volume of my bangs at the time had a direct influence on my idea to present the harmful depleting effects of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) on the ozone layer that surrounds Earth.
I recall a key piece of my project that I wanted to include was a spinning globe surrounded by Reynold’s Rap. I imagined somehow fastening the rap around wire that measured a few inches larger in diameter than the globe itself in order to leave a space in between the globe and its imaginary ozone layer.
I convinced myself that this visual would seal the deal in terms of my project being deemed the best.
Only problem was the fact that my brain was not – and continues to not be – wired to think like an engineer. After I failed miserably at trying to secure the wire in the fashion I wanted around the globe, I gave up and ranted on and on to my parents through tear-filled eyes how much I hated science. (They would also hear that same speech about math in the coming years.)
Fairly confident I still got an “A” for that particular project due to an extremely well-crafted (read: anal) poster board. Yet, I am left wondering why that particular memory survived the test of time when so many others have slipped into the black hole known as my brain.
I think it stuck around because it was a time in my life when I failed to meet my own expectations. I was never subjected to intense pressure to succeed by my parents. I’ve actually written about their unconditional support before.
Fortunately for me, the majority of memories that survived from my childhood are positive and often involved receiving praise for a job well done.
I like to write. Always have and always will. Writing is not entirely effortless to me, but it’s the one creative outlet I have that doesn’t usually feel like work. Expressing myself through the written word is gratifying to say the least.
I have so much to learn from this craft. The cherry on top of continual practice is knowing I am capturing moments that I would have otherwise forgotten had they been left to forge for themselves in the black hole.
An excerpt from “On Writing” by Stephen King: Let’s get one thing clear right now, shall we? There is no idea dump, no story central, no island of the buried best sellers. Good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere – sailing at you right out of the empty sky. Two previously unrelated ideas come together and make something new under the Sun. Your job isn’t to find these ideas, but to recognize them when they show up.”
Created by Heidi Woodard