Thursday, September 01, 2011

September: A Month to "Return"

My writing prompt for the month of September is: Return. Join me this month as I turn the hands of time back to the distant and not-so-distant past and remember....

Today's post is going to be called 37 years of memories, and I'm going to try to recall a highlight from each of my 37 years. These will either be memories that I recall directly or from photos or from stories recounted to me by my family. If you don't have the patience to read all of it, go to 1984, because it's a cool story.

1974 - the year of my birth

1975 - we moved to San Antonio where I would live for the next 12 years

1976 - the year my sister was born

1977 - my earliest memory is of posing for a picture with my sister, and then seeing the picture after it was developed and remembering posing.

1978 - attending St. Thomas preschool and painting "Texas Longhorns" - my first artwork that was intentionally done--not just child's "scribble".

1979 - I remember feeling shocked that my mother signed me up for soccer instead of ballet, like most other girls, and then I was shocked that I was really good at soccer!

1980 - My first grade teacher was Mrs. Bibb, and I really liked her.

1981 - I remember my second grade teachers name, but I won't write it here because of what I'm about to say about her: I really didn't like her.

1982 - My third grade teacher was Mrs. May. She had a baby near the end of the year, and we had a substitute teacher for the rest of the year, and I really liked the sub.

1983 - My fourth grade teacher was Mrs. Denning. She loved sarcasm, and she used it with fourth graders, which I found somewhat inappropriate, but also kind of cool.

1984 - My fifth grade teacher was Mrs. Hiester. I remember being placed in the lowest level reading class that year and being B.O.R.E.D. because it was not challenging enough. At my mother's prompting (THANK YOU, MOM!), I asked for a meeting with my reading teacher and the teacher of the reading class I wanted to be in, and I made my case for being promoted to the next level up. They told me that they didn't think I should be moved up to the next level, and then they at the end of the meeting they asked me if I was satisfied with our meeting. I said "no". The next day, my Mom wrote a note and requested that they move me up to the next level, which they did, and I made really good grades in the higher level class. It was a great lesson in believing in myself, and a great lesson to my future self to listen to my children! I'm so glad my Mom listened to me and was on my team! I love you, Mom! (Anecdotally, by the end of the year, Mrs. Hiester must have believed in my, too, because after the reading class deal got resolved, she told my mom that she thought I would one day be President!)

1985 - Sixth grade. At the prompting of a school administrator, I decided to run for student council, and I was elected! It was such a good experience that helped me to develop leadership skills.

1986 - Seventh grade. Probably my worst year of school ever, for reasons I can only attribute to the fact that it was jr. high school, and really...did any of us just LOVE junior high?

1987 - We moved from San Antonio to the Houston area. I had no idea at the time that Houston would be the city I'd end up considering my "hometown".

1988 - My freshman year of high school, I joined the tennis team. There were a group of guys who started off being really nice, but then they singled me out to be the girl on the team that they were mean to. It just started all of a sudden one day, and I never really know why. Jerks. Also? My tennis coach was a jerk.

1989 - I did a theatre performance at school, and I really enjoyed it!

1990 - We had an exchange student live with us from the Canary Islands. (Hi, Monica!) I still call her my Spanish sister!

1991 - I got my drivers' license, and passed on the first try. I remember looking at my score sheet and adding up my score and realizing that the officer passed me even though my score wasn't passing.

1992 - The year my parents separated. I remember the day I came home from school and my Dad had moved out. He didn't even tell us he'd be moving out that day. I also remember feeling relieved that he had moved out. All of that tension that was in our house was finally gone. I graduated from high school a month later.

1993 - My freshman year in college. I was so petrified that I'd gain the proverbial freshman 15, that I made sure to rollerblade a lot, and I actually ended up losing weight! HA!

1994 - I declared my major as Theatre Arts!

1995 - I was cast in a workshop scene of Two Gentlemen of Verona. It was my first experience with Shakespeare, and I LOVED it!

1996 - I graduated from college, waited tables for the summer, and then I moved to New York City to start acting classes!

1997 - I had an amazing experience at The Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre.

1998 - I had my first real boyfriend and my first devastating heartbreak when we broke up.

1999 - I booked my first professional acting job! "How the West was Won" at the Tuacahn Center for the Arts in St. George, Utah! What an awesome 9 weeks!

2000 - I interned with a wonderful group of artists at the A.D. Players in Houston, TX.

2001 - My Mom married John!

2002 - I moved to Spain and found myself in a job, country, culture, and a group of friends that I so enjoyed!

2003 - John passed away.

2004 - I worked as a peer counselor at a crisis pregnancy center. Work I really enjoyed.

2005 - I moved to Los Angeles, had an awful roommate, moved out five months later and into my own place!

2006 - I got on eHarmony and met Brian!

2007 - Brian asked me to marry him on New Year's Day, and we married six months later!

2008 - My father passed away at 68 years old.

2009 - Brian and I moved to Houston and started the adoption process.

2010 - We adopted our two beautiful boys from Ethiopia!

2011 - August 30 marked one year together as a family of four. :)

Looking back, I'm grateful for the life I've been given! It hasn't been without it's share of hard times, but it has definitely been full of joy and so richly blessed! Thank you, God, for 37 wonderful years!


Katie said...

Tracy, that was a beautiful post! So glad you are back.
I am inspired to "return" also.

The Busters said...

I learned SO MUCH about you reading this post. I love that I feel so close to you yet still have so much more to learn about what makes you YOU! Can't wait to read more of your September posts. XOXO

The Busters said...

AND you've inspired me. I am going to join in on the September theme. I think this is just what I needed!

kmrf said...

very cool life time line. My heart broke a little for all losses and rejoiced with all the blessings.
BTW- I'm the same age as your sister.

J at said...

I love this, and I loved all of your years, except 2003 and 2008, which sucked. 1992 was good to sister recently divorced, and the kids are small, and having trouble. But are actually better in some ways, for the same reason...SO much tension gone. They are both wonderful people. Just not good together.