Monday, September 01, 2014

Memory Moments

Recently while cleaning out a cupboard I came across a box of letters I had sent home between 1974 to about 1989. I decided to get rid of most of them, but, of course, I had to at least glance through them to see what I wrote about back then. Those were the years of early marriage and then having our two kids. That was interesting and fun to read about. I gushed about our cute kids.

Christmas 1986
Christmas 2013

A couple of things gave me a little jolt of surprise at how much I had forgotten. One was an incident at work in those days before we had kids. I was in the clerical pool, and I do remember one day my boss called me into his office and talked to me about a possible new professional position they were hoping to open up; he thought I might be good for the job. I remember being shocked and flattered. But I also remember being young, awkward, and stupid. In my memory I stammered around and pretty much said nothing and the whole matter was dropped. But as I read these old letters I saw that the process went on for quite a long time. My boss kept working on getting the new position approved; people kept talking to me about the position and saying that my boss had said for a long time that I could "do more than secretary." Man, I don't remember any of that!! I don't know if they ever created that new position. I quit that job before it ever came to fruition, because I had set my sights on a different career path, which I am very glad I did.

It came as a relief to me that I maybe didn't come off quite as bumbling and awkward as I remember myself. Apparently my boss didn't give up after that first conversation, which is how I had remembered it. Whew! Maybe I was able to cover up my "young girl nerves" better than I remembered. I was in my early 20s and doing a lot of growing up while on that job. I'm glad they didn't see me as a total idiot.

There was another position I filled of which I have ZERO memory. That is a very strange feeling. Apparently I was on the board of a local non-profit agency. The term was for 3 years. I have no idea if I stayed in that board position for the full three years. I don't remember even one day of it! It was weird to read about some of the stuff I reported regarding that board position. Now-days I would never accept such an offer - being on a non-profit board is much more work and responsibility than I would want to take on; I also don't think I have the skills those boards need. Maybe they just needed a warm body back then.

How about you? Do you think your memories of your early years are correct and reliable? I did! But now I am really second-guessing myself. Maybe I've twisted ALL my memories! It makes me wonder how accurate we all are... what about memoirs people write. How accurate are they??

Oh -- I need to reassure you (in case you wondered) that I have saved a few of the letters in which I talk about my new babies and my toddlers and the cute things they did. They are both adults now, and I thought they might get a kick out of reading those letters.


Ann X said...

Well, memories are very strange thing, indeed. My earliest memory is that I'm FLYING around the dining room on a little pillow and bang my elbow on the stove door knob. These memories are so real! I "remember" exactly how I was holding on the little pillow. About later... there are so many things I managed to forget that your memory "loss" doesn't surprise - you probably didn't liked that board enough to keep it in memory.

Quiltdivajulie said...

Carol - what a GREAT post (and how correct you are about what our memories do to our attitudes and self esteem).

Have been away too long - reconnecting . . .