Younger Versions of Me

Memories tend to fix themselves more firmly in my brain if attached to some tangible artifact – a photo, a note, or a detailed story that’s retold through the years. For all of  the keepsakes, the reminders, there are countless others that have fallen from the grasp of my mind. Quiet moments and unsung days, buried. The details of daily life pile on.

Those details, some weather-worn, some entirely gone, are like the versions of me. It’s hard to put a finger on just exactly who I was at the raw age of nine. Or in high school. Even the college-era Sara feels remote to me now. Over the years, changes both small and deep have made their mark. I’ve long been captivated by this lapse, but in the rear view mirror, it’s hard to see me.

Objects may be closer than they appear. Thanks to a few shared archives at various points throughout this year, I got reacquainted with younger versions of me.

Recovered memory #1: Thanksgiving, 1982.

Look at that decor! The wood paneling, the brass lamp shade. I think everyone in my family had ruffled-edged place mats and needlepoint on the walls.

Thanksgiving, 1982

Recovered memory #2: Holy hair, date unknown.

Got surprised by this bad boy via text from my sister. Head to toe denim. Hair as high as the sky. Mercy.


Recovered memory #3: Library card, 1995.

What do I remember about 1995? A few big things: Molly Howard and I started the Environmental Club. I felt like a big deal when I got to drive out of town with friends for Lollapalooza. I certainly didn’t recall this as a time I might have written my name in cursive. I haven’t thought about checking out library books via handwritten card for eons. My friend Kenton is now a teacher at my old high school, and he stumbled onto this:

library card, 1995

It’s strange, surreal, conjuring up these moments that had been lost. Was that really me? I’m feeling inspired to raid my archives – maybe I can rekindle a memory or two for someone else.

This post is part of Think Kit by SmallBox
Today’s prompt: “December 3: Time to get strange
Share the strangest experience of your year. Did you do something new or unexpected, see something out of the ordinary, or have a unique experience? What was so strange about it?”

  • robbyslaughter

    I think it was really you! I often wish I could meet people ten or twenty years before I met them. Your post got me thinking about a young (precocious!) Sara. Thanks for writing it!

    • sara mcguyer

      I often wish that too! I’ve met wonderful friends in Indianapolis, and have often wished I’d known them long enough to have gone to their wedding, or things like that.