This was today’s prompt:
If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?
Of course, I immediately thought of the beach… But there’s only so much I can say about the beach. There’s been a place in my mind that has been gripping me for quite some time and I am not sure why. It was honestly the last time I can remember my mind being at peace with itself, the time when my inner demons had not yet begun their long, exhausting fight against one another. It was a time when I was innocent and free from the bad memories that I have tried so hard to block out of my head.
The setting is: my childhood.
I grew up in a little house with my mom, dad, and my baby brother. There were three bedrooms and one bathroom, a front yard, a side yard, and a backyard (they were all fenced in, too). It was in my mind, a perfect place to grow up. My mom had built me a little playroom upstairs off of the dormer window in her bedroom and painted all the walls with stencils and absolute precise care. My playroom had blue walls and fish wall stickers that I would spend hours playing with. It wasn’t the most beautiful house in the world, but it was ours. My parents owned it. (Just a second for some background- nearly 16+ years later, my parents have finally bought another house… but for those 16 years they were just renting).
The neighborhood was a circle with a park within a ten minute walk. There was always children on bikes in the neighborhood playing together. My brother and I had so much fun always playing with every one of our neighbors having sleepovers down the street, going to the local roller garden, and meeting new friends. My teachers at school were great. They were given full hour lunch breaks, planning blocks, teacher aids, and all the amenities that our current teachers are struggling to keep. My naivety and complete and total innocence kept me from noticing if there were really any bad things happening around me. It was bliss.
When I was in fourth grade, my mother told me we were moving at the end of the school year. I don’t know about anyone else whose families have moved more than once, but I still have not recovered from that move. The biggest part of me is lost: I am lost in that old place I considered to be my home town, and yet, I have no real home now. We have lived in several places since then, and then I came to college, not really knowing who I was or where I belong.
I think if I could use astrophysics to my advantage then maybe I could check in with my childhood self and see if she was struggling too. There are so many things I want to remember from that time in my life. It was the longest I’ve ever lived in one place: nine years. It still haunts me to this day. I don’t understand why I didn’t keep in touch with the people from my past or why my memories are so hazy now that I am getting older. The times after the move are some of my darkest memories and they are still unclear and someone shrouded by my own adult judgements.
My adult self is struggling to connect the pieces together and make sense of why my human experience is the way it is. My adult self is struggling to perfect the puzzle and find complete and total self love. My adult self is wondering if I had a more clear sense of self back then, how much happier I would be right now. My adult self is not proud of the times that I have let my anxiety get in the way. My adult self would love to go back to the child in those memories, squeeze her hand, and tell her it’s going to be okay.
The window that I would like to sit in front of is the one of my early childhood. I would love to go back and see if my contentment is really true to my memory, or if I was struggling back then and have manipulated my memories to lie to myself. The room with a view I would love to see is my mom’s beautiful kitchen table (which she still complains about having to sell, even though she chose to do so), and see me, my mom, my dad, and my brother all gathered around, hopefully with smiling faces. I want to see the time when I didn’t feel so lost and was okay with myself in my own skin. I want to see the light in the tunnel that I remember being there. I want to explore, like a scientist, the deepest battles within my psyche, and rip them apart so that someday I might feel that innocence again.