I don’t know why but my childhood memories usually appear faint. A deja vu feeling, wandering thoughts or some sort of significance connection is what makes me remember things. Things I had seen and the little things I had done like a child playing in the mud.
I was washing plates by the sink when my thoughts ran back to the first time I started cooking. My mind, I am made to believe is a phenomenon. Because I cannot remember the first time I started heating the pots and having the knife show me some cooking skills. Heck, I cannot even remember what particular things I did at some ages. I do not want to believe it is some kind of short memory thing. I think my brain indirectly neglect the things that makes other things not matter. Let’s just call it a psychology mess though I am not quite sure.
I worked out my remembrance between periods, trying to figure out the age and time frame I started going to school. I have no stress doing this, I think the periodical time frame helps my recollection. Such things as when I started to draw, tiny lined drawings with big heads or one particular period where I could eat a whole house, the time my hips started to come out or my crushed ego at failing a question in primary 5.
I started going to the market at age 11+. It was a long walk from home and I would grudge before going on this errand. I bought mostly meat from a particular man, sometimes I negotiated, other times, if the baba meat seller wasn’t around, I bought from someone else much to granny’s annoyance. As I became more familiar with the market, I would be sent to buy stock fish too. It was easier to get pepper from home because there was a woman who sold for a good price, I was always sent to her. At age 12, I was carrying crates of soft drinks on my head and lifting two bags of pure water. By the time I was approaching 13, I was in Junior class 3 and I was already cooking.
At 13, I didn’t give much notice to my breasts, perhaps that was why when my cousins were fussing over buying fine bras, I was indirectly busy learning how to speak pidgin. But at 16, I saw my tiny hips, mostly because others saw it first.
I am amazed.
I never thought about it until now.
I am able to remember through transitions. I can recount this because I knew the age when we moved from Island to the mainland.
Transitions are daring steps that stares indirectly at our faces making it an almost impossible thing to overcome. We move from one stage to another. Sometimes the steps are terrifying but what matters is trudging along even if you cannot see where it leads. Sometimes, transitions is what reminds you of your past with a key to the future, It connects the dots and makes a line between where you have been and where you are going. Because with life comes a process and with transitions comes a re awakening to things and learning. Suddenly you are alerted to what went wrong or the good memories that makes up the present.
Embrace transitions and learn from each phase.
One evening, I was in the bus when I saw a woman trying to sell Easter eggs by the road side. I was fascinated by the thought that oh so they sell things by the roadside in America too? I recurred the other day at work that a woman had told my boss to let her sell Easter eggs in front of the store. It became a long draw back that transited me to when I started drawing.
I drew and shaded some figures, one was a drawing of my favourite figure woman. She had on a nice skirt is all I recall, somehow I do know I was very fond of drawing a woman that way. I had replicated the drawing on a paper I made into a greeting card. I went to the streets and started advertising that my card be bought. One housewife had passed, looked me directly in the eye, I looked for a split second and shrugged her off, perhaps I didn’t want to be discouraged from selling my art works. There was also an abstract painting I did on a small canvass.
Today, seeing the woman trying to sell her market triggered the scene and I smiled to myself. If I had an adult brain then, I would have known no one was going to buy my drawings, not even in that kind of environment, but I still tried anyways.
This just sparks up the moments in life where we could just be whatever we want without any questioning of ourselves. As children, we did whatever we wanted in free mind. If you find it hard now as an adult to arch forward against all odds, to dare yourself and achieve that goal without worrying about what anyone will say, you should think up when you were a child, let the memories of things you boldly did encourage you to forge ahead.
Perhaps keeping a dairy would be a cool off but I remember I once kept a diary and tore everything off because I was skeptical. What if someone found it and read everything? I would write tiny so it could appear unreadable but that wasn’t enough.I have thoughts of letting my child keep a diary at a tender age, there is this fine amusement that comes with it, knowing he/she may write things like,
“Mummy shouted at me today for not listening and I wasn’t happy, I wish…” or “ I went to the beach today and we…”
The shudder when something unpleasant happens.
Maybe it had more to do with the ugly experience I had with my high school boyfriend. We kept diaries and exchanged them. The sun wasn’t shining on my face when on one afternoon, I was informed that the diary had been read by his younger brother. And the part where I talked about this brother wasn’t left behind.