Andrew Whitlatch - Courtesy Laugh Network - May 3, 2011My earliest living memory was in preschool at First United Methodist Church in Lancaster City. Her name was Clare, she reminded me of Bell from Beauty and The Beast. She had beautiful brown hair and she was in kindergarten. I tried to impress her by tying a shoe lace (loop, swoop and pull). She placed her white Keds on the piano bench.
She knew I was too young for her. She had her pick of kindergarten boys that could color within the lines. My heart pounded as she stared at me waiting to watch me fail. I messed up the loop and the tiny white shoe fell off the bench.
She laughed and my heart was crushed.
I made of a fool of myself in front of the girl of my dreams (Little did I know, my future would be riddled with embarrassing moments in front of women).
I don’t remember being born, taking my first steps, or even losing my first tooth. For some reason that moment has stuck with me for two decades. Why do I remember it so vividly? And how has that moment shaped the person I am now?
Organic experiences are the ones we remember the most. Unexpected cautionary tales that make us toss our inhibitions to the wind. The moments in time that challenge are character and force us to face our fears are the most significant periods in life. The organic moments that sneak up on us are the most memorable.
We remember events in our lives that are significant. The little idiosyncratic moments of our past shape the person we are today. These moments make us interesting and human. Imperfections of our past give us interesting personalities in the future. The fear and uncertainty I felt with that girl in preschool did not end well for me. However, the tragedy of our past becomes the comedy of our future.