I am an onion. Well, you know, not a REAL onion, I’m just talking metaphorically here.
As I age, each year wraps around and over the previous. Year by year memories are formed and covered with new layers.
I know, this whole onion person metaphor is kind of weird, but I really like onions, so work with me here…
My first memory is of my 4-year-old self walking out of the house in the early morning. I am barefoot. The grass is icy cold and wet with dew. The roof of the garage creates a shadow. I walk along the top edge of that shadow, left foot on the warm dry grass, the right, wet and cold in the shade.
Every summer we would go on a camping trip with another family. I would look forward to that vacation all year. Dad would buy snacks, chips, and Mr. Pibb for the long drive. Our trip through the Ozark Mountains in Missouri is vivid in my memory with the soundtrack from Debbie Boone’s “You Light Up My Life” 8-track tape playing over and over. When we returned from that trip, I took my suitcase up to my bedroom. It had gotten so hot in the house when we were gone that my goldfish was cooked and dead. I looked out the window and was so sad that it would be a whole full year until the family vacation.
I was so excited to go to college. My friend Paula was a year older was a freshman at college. When she would come back home for a weekend, we would go to a small local bar “Bruisers” (we were both 18), drink beer, and I would grill her for all the stories of her new life. I always knew that I would attend and finish college. I didn’t realize until many years later that my dad had never thought that I would succeed at this dream…he had never personally known a woman who graduated from college.
I was running after dark down the main street of my hometown listening to “The Top 8 at 8” on a popular radio station. Running has always been cathartic for me…a way to clear my head. My husband, Tom, and I had just moved here so that we could start a family with the support of extended family. As I ran I mulled over in my mind our most recent marriage counseling session. We were at odds about ALL. the. things…money, kids, work, responsibilities. But now it seemed that we were once again “on” in our relationship and things was looking up. He had recommitted to continuing our relationship. He had decided, again, that he wanted kids, a house…me. As I ran I decided that I was finished. I was making the decision that I no longer wanted our relationship. I was over trying to drag him into my dreams. Coming home, I went upstairs and stood before him in bed where he was reading and calmly informed him that I was done.
I sit at my computer typing words, thoughts, and stories into a blog post. Closing my eyes I reach back into my past for a spark of memory to illustrate the story. Every part of my life has moments that act as a springboard to launch a thought into a conversation or a lesson to teach my children. I’m looking forward to the future where I will use these onion layers as I grow as a writer, a podcaster, and a life coach.