As some of you may or may not know, I do not remember much, if not most, of my childhood. I have bits and pieces that float through my head here or there, but as for tangible, concrete things, I have very little. I can only name two of my academic teachers throughout the years. I went to 12 different schools by the time I graduated from high school and I am not even sure I can name all of them. It's as if I just wiped the slate clean and started fresh when I hit my senior year of college. This has been causing me a great deal of stress lately due to my therapy so I decided to open...the box.
The box is an ordinary moving box, about 1 1/2" x 2" and over the years everything has gotten shoved into it. My college writings sit next to my Ft. Hayes scrap book. An assortment of programs from shows I have been in litter the bottom. There are pictures of me with people I hazily recognize amidst pictures of people I am still close to even to this day (Jenn, boy you wore loud clothes in the day!). It even holds my high school diploma AND my fancy wedding certificate. But the most amazing thing it holds is my 6th grade diary. I was sorting through some pictures and Hubby found it, opened it to a random page and read (much to my embarrassment) OUT LOUD, "I am in love with William Shatner." I screamed at him and had to tear the book from his hand because he was laughing so hard and wasn't willing to give up this sudden insight into the crazy woman he had married. I finally wrestled it from him and sent him out of the room. Then I sat down to read.
The first thing I discovered about 12 year old me is that I was a hypochondriac (okay, that hasn't changed) but I was also very self-centered and critical. Everything was "I hurt this" and "I hurt that" and "I'm going to teach so and so a lesson!" God, I am not looking forward to my daughter turning 12 if she is anything like I was. But that was pretty much the entire tone of the diary. It seemed like nothing happened to me and I only complained about various health things. Well, there was one thing. I wrote in my diary on June 27, 1982, that I had a feeling the Columbia (which was on its 4th mission at the time) was going to explode. That sent a few chills down my spine.
Alas, my diary gave me no help in my search for my childhood. But I did find a program from a show that I ran costumes and make-up on during my senior year of high school. There, in bold print, was the psychic vampire's name. I was stunned! I don't remember knowing him prior to the disastrous show at the old movie theater. In fact, I don't remember that show at all. All I remember is what the theater space looked like, nothing more. But there was his name and now I have so many more questions than before. Questions that I can never answer. I found him on Facebook and know that he lives in Cinci, but there is no way I am opening up that can of worms!
But the hardest thing for me to look at were my college writings. I got washed out of the BFA theater program at my college because I didn't "have that special fire!" As a result, I turned to writing as a minor. For some reason I thought saying I had a BA in theater WITH a minor in creative writing would result in more job offers than just a plain old BA in theater. BWA-HA-HAAA! That was a joke! But my writing instructors went a long way to soothe the pain caused by my theater teachers. I was tormented and tossed aside in theater (even though I would get my revenge and have more callbacks at the Ohio Theater Alliance Association Auditions than any other student my college had ever sent!) But my writing teachers nurtured and supported me. They berated my horrible grammar and punctuation, but they saw something in me and went out of their way to let me know they thought I was good.
So I sat on my kitchen floor pulling page after page out of the box of things I had written and realized something: I was horrible! Everything I wrote was drivel and pompous and...and...verbose! But the teachers' comments are still there and they are positive and inspiring and thought-provoking to this day. All I can do is wonder how they managed to read my stuff and still find something that indicated talent. They must be miracle workers. Sadly, even though they meant so much to me, I can't tell you what any of their names were or what they looked like. Even that is just a vague memory for me. But I remembered the things I wrote. I guess that is something.
After I went through everything, including my brother's notebooks that had journal entries prior to his death, I carefully put everything back in the box, sealed it up and hid it away. Maybe I'll open it in another 15 years and see something differently than I how saw it today. Or maybe not. Either way I definitely know one thing: I AM NOT IN LOVE WITH WILLIAM SHATNER!!!!