My younger and more vulnerable years

Yes, the title comes from The Great Gatsby, yes I’m a fan of classic literature, and yes I do happen to like The Great Gatsby. (You can read the book as an eBook.)

When I was younger, so much younger than today… I… right. I need to stop quoting ancient references, I was just about to sing Help! by The Beatles. Right. Um.

When I was younger, there was a time when I thought about how my parents brought me up. I don’t know if it happens to every child, but I felt like I knew myself so well around the time I turned nine years old, not really dragged down by the routine of school and extra curricular activities, and I actually started to try and remember what happened when I was younger than nine.

It was really difficult. My parents obviously told me stories as I grew up, about where we used to live before I was three years old, about how they came to Australia from Indonesia and so on. But it was really hard for me to remember. I couldn’t remember very far back. There were scattered memories, here and there, floating around my thoughts and threatening to piece back together in an irregular fashion. The sad thing was – I didn’t know what happened in between.

My earliest memory is quite possibly of me when I was three years old, just before we moved house. I’m not sure what happened, but I was at preschool, and it was in the wee hours the morning when it was quite cloudy. Perhaps my mum was off somewhere early. We were in a quiet room with one of the carers and she gave me a glass of milk as we all sat at the table. I don’t remember why we were there.

One happy memory I remember was after we’d moved to where we currently live. My brother wasn’t born yet, but I was walking between my mum and dad, holding their hands. ♥️ We were walking down the concrete pavement to church, the one we still attend from time to time. Nothing much has changed (but the school I used to go to, next door, has).

A hilarious story I like to tell is of the Ghost Club. At the age of seven, you really are prone to believing things about ghosts and angels and spirits. I had a group of friends, of both boys and girls, and we had a classroom at the end of the hall. For quite some time, we eyed the uppermost window of the other school building and sometimes we saw shapes moving there.

We made a Ghost Club, even wondering whether the ghost was real, or a figment of our imaginations. We wondered whether the ghost was a good ghost sent to watch over us, or an evil one who might come and get us one day the more we looked and stared.

Many years later I look back on that. Perhaps it was just something in the room behind that window, some shuffling things around. When you’re seven years old you believe anything.

I remember many other things, but it’s almost like the younger me was a different person. It’s like at some point I suddenly chose to remember everything in my path. I know that perhaps our brains just weren’t developed enough to remember everything back then, but it’s almost eerie and surreal, that often, we don’t remember everything, and it’s a little like a piece of us is lost.

Sometimes we have photos or we hear stories that fill the gaps, but sometimes we don’t. I don’t know if that’s anything to worry about, but all the more, I want to make sure I remember all the moments from now.

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