Two nights ago, I started doing something that I haven’t been able to stop. I started writing about my past. I started writing down any and all memories that I could think of, unhindered and unfiltered. I then started to categorize them into Good, Neutral, Bad, and Good/Bad memories. I can’t really explain why I started doing this, but I haven’t really been able to stop writing for about two days now. Any free time I get, I jot down a memory that comes to me, which will lead to another memory…so on and so forth.
The process has been incredible. All of these memories are inside my head, just filed away somewhere and pulling them out/recalling the details of events has been both challenging and incredibly therapeutic in some ways. This is an exercise that I would recommend to my clients. I just decided to do it on my own for whatever reason. The memories I choose are generally before high school, as in, any time after high school seems closer to “recently happened” rather than “past”. Semantics. I would say that about 98% of my memories are things that I would be able to share with my two sisters and parents, as they are all characters in said memories. 1% of my memories they don’t know because only I experienced them, and the last 1% are memories that I don’t see myself telling anyone. Some things belong in memory.
I have written about 11 pages so far, or 6,500 words, and if I had to do maths on what I’ve done, I could probably write another 20-30 pages (12-18,000 words). It goes without saying that I am not going to start posting my memories to everyone, as that cheapens my experiences and I’d like to share those with someone special someday….not the rest of the world. Still, there is an example memory that I can share with you all, and I think it accurately reflects my process. Enjoy this memory of mine, circa August 1999.
Once, my family and the Zehrs, a family I grew up with knowing and hanging out with, took a vacation to Michigan. It was Robyn, Nicole, and myself in my family. Ashley (Nicoles age) Alaina (my age) and Allie (Robyns age) in the Zehr family. We rented a beach house somewhere off Lake Michigan. I still remember pulling up to that house. Turquoise in color and fully awesome. I ran into the house and threw my stuff on the bed that I called dibs for. I then ran to the backyard…we had a HOT TUB! This was awesome. I was never allowed in the hot tub before. We jumped into our suits and ran down the beach. Freshly sun screened and eager, we marveled at the size of the waves. Equal parts frightened and gitty, we made sandcastles, sand towns, rivers of water, and sand angels. We burried each other, and swam in the lake to wash off. We ended up in the hot tub, me with my cubs hat and shirt still on, the others being crazy…which was business as usual. I remember that house being so beautiful and reeked of “summer” with scents of sunscreen, bugspray, and BBQ. The house even looked like summer with shells everywhere, rope, sailing pictures, fish art pieces, wicker furniture, plenty of windows to let the sunlight in, etc. I loved it. Our families took turns cooking dinner, and we would all congregate around the big glass table to eat. Unrelated, but this is around the time that Prince of Egypt came out, and I was listening to the soundtrack the entire trip, ha. Loved that movie. To this day, both the Peterson family and the Zehrs remember fondly on that trip and how incredibly relaxing/fun it was. It was a golden week. Untouchable.