I love those moments when something in your environment brings up a memory from the past, something that may have been significant in some way–or maybe not–but it drags with it a sense of your former self, or your naive self.
Jared and I bought a tv–a nice flat-screen tv–which is very unlike us. But Jared got a bonus for Christmas, and now we’re one step closer to being members of the “modern” world, that world of ever-advancing technology, novelty, free-thinking, and, well, “neo”-feminism, a new stripe of feminism which I mention here because of a post I plan to write on the subject. Jared, on the other hand, has become fascinated once again by modern physics; he’s watching a documentary on a massive particle accelerator built, in part, to find the Higgs Boson particle, which, I guess, it does. But that was a couple of years ago, and Jared has been searching the internet for more recent theories and findings.
Maybe you’re surprised that we bought a tv. I’m surprised. I’ve been so strict about living a solid, “natural” life, and a tv wasn’t an interest to me. But after months of watching mini-series in bed (after the children go to sleep) on my tiny netbook computer (if you remember, I was watching The Borgias when I went into labor with Hawk), I decided that I was already living the lifestyle anyways, so why not just get one, and appreciate the beauty of films on a much bigger screen. But we don’t have cable, and never plan on getting it. You don’t seem to need it these days anyways. Tv is becoming more sophisticated.
Back to my story. We just began a movie (one that we only got 5 minutes into before deciding that it wasn’t interesting enough), one that centered on a movie rental shop, and it brought up a memory of my first job.
I was so young. I got my first “real” job (not babysitting under-the-table for the neighbors) at age 14. At that age I had experienced way more than what some people would expect of a typical 14-year-old. I didn’t have a rough childhood though. I was lucky to have one filled with imagination, fantasy, playfulness, and close family and friends (Have I mentioned my girl cousins before? Probably. There were 7 of us, 3 sets of sisters, all one school year apart, and we liked to play run-away, gymnastics, orphans, and go skinny dipping). I had a great upbringing.
I was young and naive, but I was confident. I could take care of myself. And I understood a lot about what babies and children needed, how to do well in school, and how to, yes, flirt and be pretty. I knew how to figure things out on my own. Sure, I was a little lost, but I was driven to find myself.
I scooped ice cream at a movie rental shop the summer of my 14th year. I worked for a woman named Sandy, who had a rough demeanor and long black wavy hair on one side of her head; the other side was cut short. I wondered why she wore her hair that way. She was kind to me, and respectful. I was able to take free movies home whenever I wanted. I’d go to work in my denim shorts and floral tanks with my hair pulled back into a high ponytail. I didn’t so much enjoy working, but I didn’t mind it. I liked getting paychecks and talking with the customers. It was empowering.
I love thinking back to when I was young. Maybe it’s because now I feel so much the adult, and I can read my past as if it were the prologue to a novel. I’m not sure where my first job falls into my story, but the memory of it convinces me of its importance. I know that it helped me to become independent and confident. And now I’m worlds away from that moment–17 years later.