Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Rediscovery, Redefining

For four years, I’ve been known as "That Woman Who’s Lost A Lot Of Weight." While my weight loss is something I truly am grateful for and I am happy my story has inspired a few of you along your own weight-loss journeys, for awhile now, I’ve felt like weight loss is who I am. So over the last few weeks, I’ve been examining what it is I’m truly passionate about, what it is that also defines me.

What I love so much about writing, particularly writing blogs, is that I have access to years ago – a concrete record of what I was thinking/dreaming/analyzing at a specific point in time. It is how the me of yesteryear has often taught, mentored and guided the present me. The following is a blog I wrote for ZenBagLady, one I’d forgotten about until today when I searching for a different piece of writing. But it seems to me that I was supposed to find this one. Reading it was a big step in helping me remember what I’m passionate about.

Remember, your weight doesn’t define you, just as weight loss isn’t who I am; it’s a part of the whole.

The Gleefle That Sneefed – Lynn in First Grade

In my report card dated June 5, 1970, my teacher, Mrs. Marlene Larson, wrote: “Lynn is a good natured and friendly child who is most considerate when associating with her peers…She completes the majority of her assignments with a high degree of accuracy.” It was Mrs. Larson’s nice way of saying, “Lynn is a bit high strung and nervous. She hates conflict, hates to make mistakes, and seems to be growing a large stick out her ass.”

Ah, the good old days.

Academically, first grade was my favorite year ever. That’s when I learned how to write the alphabet, then words, then stories. I apparently was quite good at math, too, but it didn’t take long for my right brain to eat up most of my left brain, and in future years my math skills went in the toilet.

But I could write!

“In our creative writing program,” wrote Mrs. Larson, “Lynn can express her ideas through written communication. Her stories are indicative of advancement in the use of capitalization and punctuation technique.” Not exactly a rave review of the content of my stories, but it’s good to know my love of grammar was apparent from the beginning.

My parents kept a few of my stories. Here are a few I wrote in first grade, verbatim. In a few instances I put the real word in parenthesis so you don’t struggle in guessing what the heck the misspelled word is.

Jan. 28, 1970
My friend
"I have a friend who lives in Omaha her name is Teela her est (used) to live here with me I love her very much her love me to"

OK, so my grammar sucks in that one, but Teela is still my friend (although she doesn’t live in Omaha anymore), and look at the next one and how much my punctuation improved in just a few weeks.

LynnH
March 6, 1970
"If I want to go to the moon I wood see. Captain kangaroo and Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse. And the Man in the moon. That’s how Mane (many). I liked it."

Some girls wrote of becoming a princess. I wrote about seeing Captain Kangaroo on the moon. I was probably inspired by the moon landing seven months prior. Dad and Mom woke up my little brother and I and carried us out to the living room to watch it. Dad said, “Remember this, kids. This is history.” What I remember is sucking my thumb and rubbing my soft white blankie and staring at the black and white TV, too sleepy to think. But somewhere in the back of my mind I was formulating a story. Granted, I was no Phil Nowlan (creator of Buck Rogers), but it’s fun to see that 6-year-old Lynn thought outside the box. I need to tap into my inner child more often, apparently.

This next story was no doubt inspired by my love for Dr. Seuss books. I wish I could remember what was going on in my head as I wrote this because it is incomplete. Either I wasn’t given enough time or I wasn’t given enough space to explain what “sneefing” is. The Gleefle went to the zoo and I’m sure he meant to “sneef” while at the zoo, but he apparently didn’t get past the pig exhibit.

LynnH
May 2, 1970
The Gleefle that Sneefed
"Once upon a time there lived a. Gleefle and he was going to the zoo. He saw a big pig his is a big fat one to."

Sneefing could mean so many things. Maybe that’s what my ex- husband was doing in 1970 when he and his friends got stoned at ZZ Top concerts on the beach in Galveston. Perhaps Nixon was sneefing in the White House.

This has potential as a creative writing assignment: finish the Gleefle story and define “sneef.” Care to post your ideas?

I’ve not known a time when I didn’t write. Throughout school, my grades in language and reading were always top notch, and I’ve kept a journal since fifth grade. I once thought about being a veterinarian, a marketing major, and a teacher, but always, always, I went back to writing. Yes, I am still uptight and anxious, and that stick is still there much of the time, but writing has always been a release, a way for me to understand who I am. I appreciate it for the gift it is.

What were you passionate about as a kid? Did you recognize it then and does your career or educational path reflect that passion? As always, post a comment or send me an email. And don’t forget to make your best guess about “sneefing.”

6 comments:

  1. I was passionate about history and literature, and I spent every spare moment reading when I was a kid. I did that well into the time I went to work full-time after my kids were old enough for me to be away.

    I still love the written word, so much so, that I am writing in retirement. I still love it, but some days it can be frustrating and lonely. Nevertheless, I am powerless to stop. I know you understand what I mean.

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  2. I loved reading as a kid. Loved it! I also enjoyed drawing and think I would like to get back to doing that. I was looking through an old sketch book with John from when I was in grade school and I actually was pretty good!

    You are way more than the woman who lost a lot of weight, but I know what you mean. Don't you feel like you wear a big sign that says that to strangers?

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  3. Oh, Lynn~~~~

    You are such an inspiration to me. Yes, you CAN write and do it so well. Please don't stop. There are many more out here in blog land who need you!

    Thank you for being YOU ! Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

    XOXOXO !!!!

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  4. Ahhh, see *this* is why whenever I recommend your blog to readers on my blog I'm always quick to say that I love your writing because you are so inspiring and constantly learning about yourself and your strengths - and that that has nothing whatever to do with weight!!
    xxxCate

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  5. Love this post, Lynn. And that you still have things you wrote so long ago. I was a writer, too, in my young years and while I remember some of my stories, I don't have what I actually wrote. Sad for me, but no big miss for society! LOL As to sneefing,I'm sure it has to do with the way pigs fly.

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  6. That's really neat that your early works were saved. Like you, I loved writing and reading - third grade, I discovered biographies in my school's library and spent every recess in there, reading all of them. Seriously, ALL. Luckily for my social life, I spent fourth grade outside chasing boys. :)

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