I picked this up from J over at ‘Thinking Over‘, struck me as a neat idea. You go through and see where you were, and what you were doing 10, 20 and 30 years ago. I added 5 year increments, because there’s more motion to my life curve when viewed that way.
5 years ago- 2002 – I had just gotten an Americorps position as a ‘science lab facilitator’ in the same school where my mother works as a Music teacher. She passed on the job announcement to me, primarily because she missed her grandbaby horribly. We lived with her on the coast, right after the baby was born, but I moved to Beaverton with Sierra to make a decent wage after that. I was so busy in the city that we were incommunicado with the family much of the time.
I filled out the application as a lark, (science not my forte) but landed an interview. Two people made the final decision: One of them knew who my mother was, one did not. Nepotism may have tipped the scales a little, but since the monthly living stipend was $775, I don’t feel too badly about it. Left the city. Never missed it.
10 year ago- 1997– Watermark. 10 years ago today, I would be having labor induced in one month’s time, on a Monday morning, the 8th of December. I didn’t like the day very much, but the people who schedule these things don’t have a lot of room for sentimentality. Every member of my immediate family circle, from grandparents to parents to brother are all born on odd days, 17th, 19th, 11th, etc. Contractions started after I was induced, right on schedule, but they gave me a drug in the late afternoon which stopped everything.
As it turned out, Sierra put off her debut a good several hours, and made her appearance on Tuesday, December 9th at 2a.m. Her father was born on the twelfth, so it was fitting that she held out for an odd number. Three months later he would be out of our life, and she would be raised overwhelmingly as a part of my side of the family, the beloved, first great-grandchild of the fair-skinned, Engstrom clan.
15 years ago- 1992 – Ah. L’amour. Fifteen years old. That entire year I was with my first boyfriend, an identical twin named ‘Chris’. Hormones were raging. I remember long walks home from school with him, football games and dances, amusingly dramatic lover spats, and his damn brother, Adam, who was always somehow in the middle, making trouble. No girl had ever seriously monopolized either twin’s time before me, and Adam didn’t like it, not one little bit. They were a year and half older, jr’s to my sophomore. Adam went through my friends like Cheetos, which did not endear him to me any.
20 years ago- 1987– Ten years old. Fifth grade, I was a shy little goody goody, getting used to another new school. Mr. Chaffin, a very gruff and (to the student body) terrifying old fella was our teacher for all of 8 weeks before he had a massive heart attack and had to be replaced. (He lived. He may still be alive, the stubborn old cuss.) Mrs. Scarborough came to take his place. Mrs. Scarborough loved my quiet, well-behaved, academic little personality, and she set me as an example and even used my papers to correct other people’s with. It’s a credit to my classmate’s that they didn’t beat me up repeatedly. While Mrs. Scarborough felt ‘safer’ than Mr. Chaffin, in hindsight I see that she was a fairly uninspired teacher, and Mr. Chaffin with his growly, unconventional approach would have been a really valuable teacher who would have given us a hell of a year.
25 years ago- 1982– I was five. My parents would have been separated with a divorce pending. My mom took me and my brother, and we lived in a series of houses, (friends of hers) while she tried to figure out finances. She was stressed, but I don’t remember. I thought it was fun. I loved being with just my mom and my little brother, and I most vividly remember lying on my back in a sleeping bag on someone’s living room floor, looking at a fish-tank that glowed in the dark.
It was behind my head but elevated, and I stared up at the swirling colors in the dark for what feels now like a long, long time.
30 years ago- 1977– I was born in February of that year. By November I was probably crawling a lot. I didn’t talk for 14 months, but when I did, I asked for ‘Odder’, my favorite stuffed toy.
If anyone else would like to try this idea, I’d love to read your progressions.