A History of Memories

(thanks to eemusings for this idea!)

A chronology of the most memorable moments of my life:

  1. Age 4: I pushed my brother when he was walking down the sidewalk and he needed to get stitches. I said I didn’t do it.
  2. Age 6: I stuck my tongue to a metal fence in the middle of winter, only because someone told me it would get stuck and I didn’t believe them.
  3. Age 7: Aladdin and Rock N Roll Racing were my favorite SNES games and I would play them non-stop.
  4. Age 8 (grade 2): I had a thing for dinosaurs around this age. I stole plastic toy dinosaurs from our classroom and had a large bucketful amounting to about 30 of them. My mom found out and punished me to 2 months of hand-washing dishes.
  5. Also grade 2: I read a lot of books. Specifically, Lurlene McDaniel books – she wrote medical drama novels about young adults coping with death and chronic illness. I found the stories fascinating (no, I didn’t cry), and I think this was the point in my life I decided I wanted to become a doctor when I grew up.
  6. Grade 3: I had a secret love for doing multiplication tables and long addition.
  7. Summer after grade 3: I would play in a ditch in Poland. I caught frogs and cut them open. When my aunt asked me why I did this, I replied, “Auntie, I have to know what’s inside if I’m going to become a doctor!” [how cute]
  8. Grade 4: Smelly Mr. Sketch markers were “in” back then. A classmate (MM) had them and, when I asked to smell one, he stuck the buttered popcorn one up my nose. Classic.
  9. Grade 5: I was put in the advanced reading section with one other classmate.
  10. Age 11: I saw a commercial for Doctors Without Borders and knew that was what I wanted to do with my life.
  11. Grade 6: I like the solar/space unit in the science curriculum so much, I wanted to become an astronaut. I proceeded to decorate the ceiling of my bedroom with glow-in-the-dark stars. I mapped out constellations, to the degree, and spent hours perfecting the stars so they matched the latitudes, longitudes, and curvature of the Earth.
  12. Grade 7: I had a crush on my gym teacher and wanted to be exactly like her when I grew up. The crush didn’t fade for years.
  13. Grade 8: I wrote a suicide note, but didn’t do anything with it.
  14. Also grade 8: I wrote a poem and it got published in a poetry magazine.
  15. Grade 9: My dad picked me up from a friend’s house (AM) at 9pm because he wanted to go to bed. We never finished our movie, End of Days. Since that day, I’ve HATED not finishing a movie I start, no matter how terrible.
  16. Grade 11: Dressed up as a tomato for Student Union elections (I won – VP).
  17. Grade 12: Had surgery on my right wrist. I was prescribed Tylenol 3’s and used them as my excuse to sleep through Social Studies, a class I despised. I milked the T3’s until they ran out.
  18. Age 20: On the first day of quantitative analytical chemistry class, I knew no one in the class. I chose to sit beside a blonde girl because I liked the color and style of her hair. We’ve remained best of friends ever since. Thanks for always being there for me ASFB.
  19. Age 21: Lived in Quito, Ecuador for 2 months with a host family. Took Spanish classes, volunteered at a local hospital, and shadowed a family physician (with a specialization in diabetes). Also visited the Galapagos. I met some amazing people and my heart aches often from the memories of that trip. I believe my love for travelling spawned from this experience.
  20. Age 24: Moved out on my own. Have never looked back.
  21. Also age 24: Acted as a Spanish translator for a medical mission with CAMTA. Travelled to Quito, Ecuador, once again, but only for 10 days. Here I realized I didn’t have to be in medicine (yet) to impact people’s lives. I got rejected from the following year’s medical mission with CAMTA. This broke my heart and I learned I take rejection as failure.
  22. Shortly after being rejected from CAMTA, I ran for president of the local AIESEC Edmonton committee. I lost. Again, I equated rejection with failure. I don’t know how to fix this.
  23. Age 25: Rejected from a Masters program at the University of Alberta due to lack of funding.
  24. Took a risk in love. I learned, I lost, it hurt.
  25. Moved to London to further my education.
  26. Age 26: Realized I’ve been living under the expectations of others. Decided to stop.
  27. Also age 26: Fell in love (for keeps this time) and moved back across the ocean. All in the name of love and a new adventure.

7 thoughts on “A History of Memories

  1. Hmmm. Rejection. Powerful thing.
    When it relates to your sense of self it can be quite destructive. But rejection is not always about who you are. For this you need to separate what is ‘you’ from what it is you do. And success is measured by how you get up after you get knocked down.

    If it helps any… I find that rejection does not always mean there is something wrong with ‘me’ as much as it might be something not right about the circumstances. I’ve had plenty of rejection. In a lot of different ways. But I have a steadfast understanding of who I really am which cannot be shaken by rejection from other people. I’m happy with who I am and I’m happy with what I do. Others may not need me right then, but someone always needs someone. Eventually acceptance comes and the world seems right again.

    No one should actually learn to enjoy rejection. But everyone should take a moment or two to reflect on the why and the what of the situation and make sure you know (unquestionably) whether it was them or you.

    Of course it also helps to remember any of the times you rejected another person or their ideas. It’s humbling – and that’s worth knowing. Being humble is to recognize a strength beyond ourselves. A force in the world for good. It does not diminish the self. It provides fortification for your ideas and for an enduring sense of who you really are.

    Cheers, Dave

  2. Rejection is tough. You have to try to move on. I looked up AIESEC. Maybe it would have been a good experience to be an officer but I say aim for adult-level organizations.

    1. I almost feel nostalgic just thinking about them! Perhaps I’ll dig one up and read it, for old times sake. Thanks for this awesome idea, btw :)

Leave a Reply