Little stories from the sentimental bit of me.
By Shelby S.
In 11th grade my English class was forced to read a book called An American Childhood by Annie Dillard. Now, it’s supposed to be a classic….but every single copy should be burned….sorry Annie. Had I been less motivated by the money said book could bring me, I would have burned it the moment I was finished with the work involved. Why am I roasting this book for all the world to read? Because, one, it needs to be roasted for all the world to read, and two, it serves as a good foundation for my life stories!
The most memorable part of the book was when Dillard took a whole chapter to go into detail about her rock collection. (12 PAGES.) So, I’m going to recreate it. But, instead of making you cringe as you thumb through 12 pages of fluff, you get to read a short paragraph of my own collection. Journals! Fun fact about me; as I was packing for college, I probably came across 20 or more different journals. None had been completely filled. Why on Earth would I buy more journals when I had so much free space to go all creative on? Here’s the thing. I’m absolutely obsessed with blank space. A whiteboard, a canvas, a journal , a sheet of notebook paper…give me a writing utensil and you’ll get a gleeful Shelby. And lots of doodles and random words thrown together. I also love walking down a notebook aisle and looking at all of the different designs and sizes. It’s like my creative side got a sugar rush. A lot of the time I would fall in love with a journal design and have to buy it…just to have it. I would dedicate notebooks to half finished novels and short stories, those cheap little diaries would hold as many secrets as my ADHD mind could stay focused long enough to write down, and most of the notebook paper I carried went to poem writing in boring classes. Then I would stuff them all away for safe keeping until I got another idea and wouldn’t surface again for months. I’ve always felt like that villain on the Jimmy Neutron cartoons that had plans for world domination but was known for his inability to complete projects.
I was a very troubled sleeper when I was younger. My first bedroom was the first one in the hall, and my bed was pushed up against the wall that ran parallel with the porch, so I heard all comings and goings through out the years. Like many young children, I was terrified of storms and thunder…but, I doubt many stay up all night listening for signs of storms to come. Or, let’s talk about the fact that my imagination went haywire as soon as bedtime was even mentioned. Shadows moved, creepy noises rang out, or it was just too quiet. I left my door open and listened to my father watch TV until 11, then if I wasn’t asleep by then I would start panicking. You see, I’ve always needed some form of noise or music to block out the houses natural noises. I can’t listen to those and see figures lurking just outside my bedroom…a person would go crazy for sure! I’ve only spelled out half my nights, though. Most of the time I slept with my sister in her bed. Eventually they forced me into my own bed again, to which my child mind said a big, fat ‘NOPE’, and then I decided to make myself a pallet next to my moms bed. Every night I would wait until my dad was getting ready for bed, then I would sneak into their bedroom and beg my mom to let me sleep with her. Then, I would dutifully roll out the blankets i kept by the bed and curl up on the floor. I was desperate! Anyone who knows me knows I hate sleeping on the floor! As expected, I out-grew my fears of nighttime.
In late elementary and all of middle school, I was considered one of the extremely innocent ones in our grade. “Baby ears” floated around in conversations around me in class. Once, I was even included in a conversation about music by a “popular” group and they ridiculed me for still listening to Radio Disney. The funny thing is that I soon after got into the more mainstream stuff, and even now I still feel that shame. I guess you can’t please everyone, and you just have to accept that you will like what you like and nobody should persuade you otherwise. I look back at those years and shake my head at people who make fun of others for their tastes.
Ok, one more. I love this, because it’s something I share with my significant other. Since the day we could understand love and marriage and all that, we’ve been…preparing…for our future spouses. I’ve spent most of my life looking for my perfect match. I would sit on the playground with my friends and wonder if one of the boys I was growing up with would turn out to be Him. This endeavor led me to many cringe-worthy experiences, like my crush/obsession with the poor boy who sat in front of me in 5th grade. To this day I’m convinced part of the reason he moved was because I was just a block away. It’s been a tough experience, because contrary to popular belief I take my love life very seriously. I never leave a stone upturned, should I be available to take the chance. On the other hand, my other half has told me many stories from his own childhood where he would throw fits because he wasn’t able to provide a nice home for his dream girl. This always makes me laugh, because I can imagine my boyfriend as a 2 year old getting all stressed out because he didn’t have a job. Aren’t we adorable? Maybe I’m just creepy. Intense. But I’m a FUN, intense,creepy person!!
I hope my version of an American childhood was much more interesting than Annie Dillard and her rock collection. I sure get a kick out of my memories! What was I thinking?