21 August 2016

Day 2: I Don't Remember

I am participating in the 8-Minute Memoir challenge from Ann Dee Ellis. This is Day 2.

I don't remember a time when sadness wasn't a part of my life. Even as a pretty happy kid, sadness was something I understood and appreciated for its virtues.

This isn't to say I didn't have a great childhood. I was lucky and I don't remember needing anything I didn't have, but sadness--sadness was always there.

My first great sadness came from my friendships. I had a few amazing friends (one in particular who never disappointed), but many of the people I interacted with didn't fulfill my needs as a tiny extrovert. There were a couple of girls I knew who were mean in the nice ways. You may know what I'm talking about--the kind of mean where they invite you over just to offer you a makeover because you really need it. You know how eleven year olds really need makeovers. One of those times I sat in that girl's room while she and another girl coated my lids in shadows and other brightly colored items I didn't understand yet as they questioned my shaving habits. I was too embarrassed to admit I had never shaved, and they were too rude to understand my faint, blond hairs didn't need to be shaved, even when I was going to the beach. Again, I was eleven. That was the only time I cried in front of them.

I don't remember the sadness ever going away entirely after any number of tragedies that have befallen me since my childhood. Suicide attempts by friends, grief over the loss of relatives, infertility, tragic cross-country moves that would separate me from friends with generic enough names that I'm not sure I'll ever find them on Facebook...

The sadness builds up, you know. There's happiness too, but the sadness is always there. There's more room for it than I ever could have expected and I wonder sometimes when it'll disappear. Maybe it won't. Maybe we're meant to carry our tragedies with us. Or maybe it's just me.

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