Saturday, December 4, 2010

WHO is this girl?

When I got up this morning I noticed a mess in my closet.
The clips that held my overhead wire shelves in place had snapped, depositing most of my stuff on the floor. (How did I not hear this happen?)

I took all the clothes that were on hangers and placed them gently on my bed, then moved all the boxes and blankets that were stored on the shelves to a new location in my closet. As I moved the last box, a piece of paper that was stuck to the bottom slipped off and fluttered to the floor.

It was a piece of lined paper; from an old school binder. But it had been folded in half a number of times.
(Click to enlarge)



































I wrote it, I'm guessing, during the Christmas break of 1975. I would have been 14 years old.
Was I normal?
All that love and all that hate?
And oh my goodness, all those boys?

And the handwriting? Was I on drugs? Upndown, slanted, loopy, not-loopy...

I've scribbled out the last names, because who knows? They might be on facebook, and really, who wants to be the subject of some teenaged girl's note-to-self.

Observations:

  • I had the same affection for movie stars as I did for boys from school. They were all fantasy to me. I never dated (or in some cases) even talked to the boys I had crushes on.

  • It seems I needed to have a reason to attend each class. I hated my teachers, apparently, so I chose a boy in each class to daydream about. (By the way, I got mostly A's with a smattering of B's all through school. Most of my dreams involved boys loving my brains.) (Also, by the way, I didn't really hate any of my teachers. I think I was trying to be badass.

  • My last sentence, about Tina moving away? Was huge. She was my first ever best friend. We both moved to Surrey when we were in grade 6, and she lived just up the road from me. We were inseparable through most of grade 6 and 7 (with the exception of that time she 'went around' with my brother, being all boyfriend/girlfriend. He was 11.) Then, in grade 8, she got in with a different crowd, so we didn't hang out as much. And by grade 9, when she moved? I was feeling lost. 

  • Other than Val, none of these people that were so important to me when I was 14 are actively in my real life anymore. (Brad, Denise and Corinne are all cyber friends, via facebook.) I ran into Mike a few years ago when he came to the office where I work. I walked into the board room and there he was - so I said, "hi, you're Mike, right? I'm Jane. K*ass**." He looked at me blankly. "We went to school together? You used to come over to my place? My parent's farm? On 96th?" Again with the blank look. "You used to hang out with Brad... You drove my go-cart in the Guildford parking lot..." Still no recognition. He didn't even remember signing my yearbook, "Me Tarzan, you Jane." Yeah. THAT was embarrassing. And pretty indicative of my impact on the boys I had crushes on.

  • A few months later, in February of 1976, when we started our second semester, I ended up in a Science class with someone named Mark. And the rest is history.



















Know what?
Those years between 14 and 18 are so pivotal. They form the springboard that jump-starts your adulthood. I know "people" talk about the first 5 years being foundational, but I think I disagree. Those junior high and high school years have a greater impact on how you view yourself and the world, than those toddler years. 

My first job, at 16, was at the Hobby Hut. It ignited the spark that has become a life-long love of all-things-creative. Not only that, it gave me direction for post secondary schooling. I loved retail. And I wanted to learn how to do it better. More creatively. During my years at BCIT, I applied every theory that I learnt to my experiences at Hobby Hut... and then again at Billie's Country. 

What goes around comes around, and this week, I was delighted by the circle of life thing. When Billie's opened, my mom and I thought we'd be able to handle the business by ourselves. After two weeks it was obvious we were going to need help, so we hired two young gals to give us a hand. Lori worked 5 days a week, handling sales and Barb, a high school student, came in on Friday nights and Saturdays to work the til and help customers. She was tiny, sweet, full of energy and had no problems starting her shift each week by dusting all the window sills and removing the dead flies. 

On Wednesday, I had a friend request on facebook waiting for me when I got up. It was from Barb: 
Hi Jane

I just sent a friend request and realized you may not recognize my married name ... When you hired me I was 17, it was my first job and my name was P****! Ha! Well now I have been here (in Switzerland) for 17 years! 

Christmas always makes me think of Billie's Country! 

Cheers
Barb

Of course, I had to check out her page, then follow the link over to her blog. And guess what? She has an artists studio. Where she gives classes. And I couldn't be prouder of her.























Don't you love this?






















(She shops at Ikea. Just like me. I have that rolling drawer unit too. Two of them.)



















This is her poster for upcoming classes:
LOVE it.






















She has a blog too. Go on, check it out. 

So.

All this has me thinking.

1. What events/situations/relationships/experiences are/did my kids have during "those" years that were so important? Which adults impacted their lives, knowingly or not? What will be built on, and what will fade away? Which relationships are going to last til they're 50, and which ones will be over before they marry? Do they have friends who will be around for the long haul?

2. Are there young women in my life that I'm influencing in a positive way? Do I need to be more intentional about that? Or do these things 'just happen'? 

Three things I'm thankful for:
1. Carolyn's challenge to memorize scripture as a way to renew your mind. The needle of my thoughts is stuck on a negative groove these past few weeks, so instead of nursing those bad vibes, concentrating on memorizing a passage in Isaiah is a good thing. It's not as easy as I thought it'd be.

2. Dinner with friends tonight. Long, meandering close-the-restaurant-down conversations are my favorite. I think I talked too much again though. 

3. Memories.

Shalom,


6 comments:

valerie said...

Germany/Switzerland next vacation destination? House exchange? So many questions.....

valerie said...

I'm back. Just read your letter and laughed out loud because I know the last names of some of the people. Very glad that it did not say anything about the phone calls we used to make.

ramblin'andie said...

I forgot to comment earlier (stupid google reader is bad for comments~!)

I'm glad I wasn't the only one with a crush in every class. Or the outpouring of emoting on paper. So cringeworthy!!

Barbara Nigg said...

Hi Jane! I loved this post! Thanks so much for putting up the photos of my studio and flyer for classes. You are an amazing writer - and I really enjoy coming here and reading your blog. Of all the jobs I've had, I was most at home at Billie's - and always look back at that time with gratitude, wonder and warmth. I was so excited to be part of Billie's team, the dead flies were a snap, it was the live wasps that gave me pause! : ) To this day, I have fond memories of laughing and working with you, your family and Christmas at Billies!

Barbara Nigg said...

Hi Jane! I loved this post! Thanks so much for putting up the photos of my studio and flyer for classes. You are an amazing writer - and I really enjoy coming here and reading your blog. Of all the jobs I've had, I was most at home at Billie's - and always look back at that time with gratitude, wonder and warmth. I was so excited to be part of Billie's team, the dead flies were a snap, it was the live wasps that gave me pause! : ) To this day, I have fond memories of laughing and working with you, your family and Christmas at Billies!

Anonymous said...

Ditto what Andie said. On our local radio station you used to be able to phone in and request a country music song for someone. Instead of actually doing it, I kept a notebook and each day, would write which song I would request and for whom and why. Oh the horror of ever finding that book again...It would show me to be a country music song dedicating s.l.u.t.
I had forgotten all about that!

:) September