Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Timeline Meme

I don't usually do memes, but this one sounds constructive. And it sure beats the series of posts that have been knocking around in my head and are basically a reliving of some of my most traumatic experiences. Now, doesn't that sound fun?

Timeline meme

25 years ago: It was 1979 and I was newly 5 years old. I was in my 3rd year of preschool, since my parents were planning a move and wanted me to start Kindergarten in the new place. I remember a few things from this year, like finding the black widow spider in our Albuquerque back yard and taking it in for show-and-tell after my mother killed it. And being regularly beaten up by my "friend" from across the street; I still have a negative association with the green roofing Lincoln Logs. And being such a slow eater that I got left alone in the lunchroom one day at preschool. That didn't bother me at all until I realized that I wasn't big or strong enough to open the doors to let myself out.

20 years ago: I was in the 4th grade, and reality finally hit me. Until this point, I had always been the best, the fastest, the smartest, the teacher's pet. This year I had Mrs. Neal, who believed that she needed to make up for all the spoiling I'd received over the past 10 years. She was very effective, but I know that she secretly loved me because of the really awesome book she gave me for Christmas (she gave everyone a different new book). This year I also painfully learned long division and got my first bra. My favorite T shirt had Garfield on it and said, "I'm cute, and housebroken too." I put myself on my first diet.

15 Years ago: In the fall of 1989 I was in 9th grade. My mother had gone back to work full time, and I celebrated my freedom by always being late for school. I learned to sneak through the greenhouse into my first period science glass so that I didn't get into trouble. I played volleyball and basketball, and I was on the drill team (pom pons, halftime shows), and was in several plays. I'd spent the previous summer getting over the worst relationship of my life and some really impressive depression. I had also taken Driver's Ed and earned my restricted license, an experience that you city folk really missed out on.

10 Years ago: I was in the first semester of my second year of college. At this point I was casting about wildly. I knew I'd made a mistake choosing my university, but it had felt so right at the time. I chose English as my major simply because that's where my best grades were. I was in year two of an unhealthy relationship with a rich asshole that I still remember fondly and often. I decided to pledge a co-ed service fraternity to meet new people and make better friends. It was one of the best decisions of my life.

5 years ago: In 1999 life was good. I'd been out of school for two years and I had a good job, great apartment, and wonderful boyfriend (who I met through that co-ed service fraternity in college). I had my first brand-spanking-new car, a leased, silver Saturn coup. I was in great shape and playing roller hockey several times a week. Although I didn't know it, I was about to become engaged to be married in a couple of weeks.

3 years ago: I was 27, the year I'd always imagined I'd be officially grown up. One look in the mirror showed me that I wasn't at all what I'd expected to be. I had a good job that I enjoyed, an adorable little pug named Lizzi, a great husband (though he was working in Michigan at the time and was only home on weekends, causing lots of stress and arguments), and owned a house. But my life seemed . . . ordinary, my career undistinguished.

1 year ago: I had just given birth to my daughter, Eleanor. I had expected to be squashed flat as a bug by post-partum depression and was surprised to find myself buoyant, instead. I loved my daughter, loved my life as a new mom, loved the 2 weeks of daddy and mommy and baby home alone together in our little bubble before daddy went back to work, and was very proud of what my body had done. But there were terrible things looming on the horizon that I was about to have to deal with.

This year: Oh, this year. I turned 30 in September. Ellie had open-heart surgery in January. She had lots of firsts, many of which are amazing and exciting and wonderful. I love her more than I imagined I would, but it's sometimes so crushingly depressing, this incurable Down syndrome, even though she's amazing, remarkable, and very high-functioning. Still, every new thing: is this normal? So, to be healthy, to be happy, I should focus some on me, right? Do I return to work, or not? Could I actually be a writer? I started writing again, for the first time since college. I like it.

Yesterday: For no good reason, I made a Greek meal for my family (Paul, my parents, my 96-year-old grandfather, my sisters and their partners) and then Paul, Ellie, Lizzi the pug, and I drove back to St. Louis from Northwest Indiana. Exhausting. So Paul and I capped off the evening with a nasty, meaningless argument.

Today: It was cold and rainy and Ellie and I stayed inside for much of the day and napped together in my big, warm bed this afternoon. I didn't get anything productive accomplished, except for some Christmas decorating.

Tomorrow: Tuesdays are busy with my Bible study and Ellie's Physical Therapy. I might go to a mommy/baby happy hour with some acquaintances, or I might stay home and try to get through one of my critical to-do piles. Maybe I'll even write a little. The sky's the limit.

Via frog, the most interesting (and, sadly, coincidently, only) combination of Christian, feminist, lesbian, and bibliophile I've ever met. Er, if you count knowing someone online for 4 or 5 years meeting. I do.


Psycho Kitty said...

Let's hear it for the "tractor license"! I haven't thought about those for a while.
Sweetie darling, I realize that we don't really know each other, but you kick ass. This life, it sure doesn't know from easy, does it? But somehow or other, it always ends up being more than I could have asked for. Hang in there--and always choose the happy hour over the to-do pile.

frog said...

Sarahlynn, what a wonderful thing to read about myself. Thank you so much for the kind words--and for the glimpse into your history. :)

bh said...


I've enjoyed reading your meme and looking at your pictures. I'm such a snoop!

This is a roundabout way to get in touch with you. Please check your ezboard inbox for a message from me. ;)


zCommentor said...

Wow, you are a talented writer. I must say that I am hooked and will keep reading.

My wife just had our first son one month ago saturday. We have only had to face the usual challenges. You are a strong women and a wonderful mother. The sky IS the limit.


Sarahlynn said...

Thank you! (From the worst correspondent ever)