17 October 2012

When you were ten....

via

I read a passage in a book earlier in the year and the thought has stayed with me these past months...the notion of discovering your ten year old self. The writer suggested, at the age of ten, we trusted our instincts, without a doubt. She suggested that we had our own opinions, our own views..we were our authentic selves and no one could change the way we thought, even our parents.

'Try to travel back in time and imagination. 
See yourself at ten: at home, at school, and at play. 
Where did you live? 
Can you see your house or apartment, and the street? 
Walk through the rooms in your childhood home. 
What did you bedroom look like? 
Who were your friends? 
Did you have a best pal? 
What was your favourite colour in the crayola pack? 
Did you play a musical instrument? 
Can you recall the scent of Play-Doh? 
What were your favourite foods? 
What subject did you like in the fifth grade? 
Can you recall yourself at ten?" 

Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach

Finding your 10 year old self...I had to think about that one. A long think. To put it in perspective, I looked back at the word around me when I was ten.

In 1967, I was ten years old and....

-Tens of thousands of Vietnam War protesters marched in Washington, D.C.
-The first human heart transplant was conducted in Cape Town, South Africa.
-Thurgood Marshall was confirmed first African American Justice of the Unites States Supreme Court.
-The movies on the 39th Academy Awards ticket... Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and the winner A Man for All Seasons.
-The musical HAIR opened Off-Broadway
-Walt Disney's Jungle Book was released, the last animated film personally supervised by Walt Disney.

and the list goes on....

Some of you will remember much of this, for some, perhaps just one or two events. It was an interesting exercise and one that I encourage others to think about. It has a way of staying with you...it's a journey.

The message in the book was simple, just trust yourself. If you have a decision to make and have that wavering feeling... try remembering back to your ten year old self...and trust your instincts, just as you did all those years ago. Think moxie...it works for me. :)


Do you remember your ten year old self?



BTW...my favourite colour in the Crayola pack,
 when I was ten...sky blue... and yours?  :)


49 comments:

  1. Wonderful post, Jeanne. Just what I needed on this grey, soggy Seattle morning... Let's see... I lived in Lille (Northern France) when I was ten. I remember listening to my favorite pop French singers then, and saving up my allowance for weeks to be able to buy a single vinyl record! I remember "running" several clubs and businesses with friends of mine in our development: a one-page newspaper my father was kind enough to photocopy at work so we could stuff it in neighbors' mailboxes; a "hotel," complete with restaurant and salon (where I got in trouble one day for actually trimming the bangs on a little boy's head-- oopps!) and a bicycle club, named as I recall "Les Fous du Velo" (Bicycle Maniacs.) Mostly, I remember having a lot of fun outside, even in the rain (there was a lot of rain.) Oh, and about that crayola color, Orange. Definitely Orange. Still is a favorite of mine. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

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    1. Veronique...I am fascinated by your story and that you can remember so much of it! If any ten year old girl had bucket loads of moxie...it was surely you! :)

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    2. "bucket load of moxie..." -- J'aime. Maybe I will use this on Le Blog one day :)

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  2. When I was ten I lived in Naples, Italy - my only true expat experience. I think that year has shaped my persona more than any other year in my life - it gave me my wanderlust. Thanks for taking me back!

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    1. Wanderlust that started in Italy...sounds like the makings of a book Sandy...between you and Veronique, I am liking this concept more and more. Thank you!

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  3. It had to be a purple-y blue but I don't think I ever had a crayola box with that many colors when I was 10 in 1952, living in the countryside with my writer father, musician mother, and 5 siblings :)

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    1. Becky...why am I not surprised.... purple-y blue...it is the artist in you surely. :)

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  4. In the village in rural England, where I grew up, it was traditional to have a new dress for Easter sunday every year. Mine the year I was ten was a green and white striped linen on with a white collar. I wore it with a straw boater with long green ribbons, and white shoes. I remember that Sunday morning well, I felt so good when I stepped out to church. The older I get the more I remember the past and my childhood. Lovely post Jeanne.

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    1. Me too WG...and yours is surely a childhood worth remembering. I love the idea of a straw boater with long green ribbons and white shoes...I can see it now..on a misty English morning. :)

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    1. Perfect pink Vicki...I imagine you had to have just the right shade as well. :)

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  6. I remember her clearly.
    My favourite was Forest Green.
    xo,
    p

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    1. Forest Green in anticipation of travels to the Scottish Isles....:)

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  7. Hello Jeanne,

    I've been busy but I do keep up on your blog, just now would like to comment on the last three posts...first, the house by the sea tugs at my heart.. one day you will settle into the perfect house down a dirt road in New England; second, I think the painting is absolutely wonderful, so pretty and meaningful as you both share the unique beauty of Vietnam and it will be above a mantel in that cottage someday; lastly, I think the fun of being 10 years old was that we began to think for ourselves then, my favorite color was dark midnight blue and still is, and my first recollection was of being on the school patrol, holding a flag as others went to and from school, our dog followed us to school, we had bunk beds and I loved geography then...the world stage was much the same as yours....thanks for the idea!

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    1. Thank you Katy...on all fronts..bunk beds and geography...I imagine their was a map of the world somewhere too.... :)

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  8. Just been catching up on your recent posts and today's is particularly thought provoking and a great exercise - going back to being ten - an interesting age just before going on to high school. Sky blue would have been my favourite crayon too!
    http://missbbobochic.blogspot.co.uk/

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  9. Mine was red. Red has remained one of my favourite colours to this day. I remember myself at various ages but I am having a really hard time remembering myself at ten. Something to think about ...

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    1. That's ok Loree...me too. I am so impressed by the number of people who have such a clear recollection. Mine is starting to come back to me but it has take a while to figure out the dates. :)

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  10. Beautiful post, Jeanne, as always. You made me smile -- my favorite Crayon color was also sky blue. I thought sky blue hair was the cat's meow! But, yes, much happened back then. I do remember, especially the first human heart transplant in Cape Town. My grandfather suffered from heart problems. I remember my parents talking excitedly about where the transplant would lead. Not to my grandfather, unfortunately, but to others, yes and a wonderful thing. In the broader sense, I love it when my 10 year old self bubbles up inside and wants to run among the rain drops...wheee!

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    1. If anyone can run through the rain drops in utter glee it is you Kittie...so glad your ten year old self is still guiding you along the way. It shows in your writing and I for one..just love it! :)

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  11. This has really got me thinking. I can't remember 10. I'm going to give this some thought, thanks for sharing..

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    1. Agree Mel...it does get you thinking and in my case it has been months of it. I am glad I finally got around to raising it and seeing what it means to others as well. Enjoy the thinking process. :)

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  12. Jeanne,

    Hello! What a wonderful post. I had to read this and then sit and think for a minute. In 1976 I was ten years old, and I just moved to Michicagan from Alaska. My favorite color was blue too, and I loved to do things with my sisters. I love spaghetti and hot chocolate.

    I love the book Simple Abundance, I think it is such a beautiful book and I frequently give it to friends. There are so many great ideas in there.

    By the way, the author was recently interviewed by Oprah on her OWN network.
    Have a wonderful day Jeanne!

    Elizabeth

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    1. Spaghetti and hot chocolate...I can see that some things have not changed Elizabeth..your ten year old self is still within your heart. :)

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  13. Living on a farm in rural Ireland. We discovered the forbidden comics. Judy and Bunty. I recall sneaking away on the bicycle to the shop and purchasing both then returning and we would go to the river where my sisters and I would read about the Four Marys and such.
    My Aunt in New York used send us clothing and I wore this circular skirt - it was a moss green and a perfect skirt for hiding comics
    If our mother knew, she turned a blind eye.

    A wonderful post, Jeanne

    Helenxx

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    1. Oh Helen...I love your moss green circular skirt already...I want one! :)

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  14. This is very encouraging. At ten I was living a very sheltered and carefree life in Manila, Philippines, closer to Vietnam where you live now. I was playing with my childhood friends there, enjoying the tropical weather and the occasional typhoon. The late President Ferdinand Marcos and Imelda Marcos ruled the Philippines like king and queen. Those were the days. My favourite crayon colour was sky blue too. I read Sarah's book too. It is a very enlightening book. I enjoyed reading it. Have a wonderful week ahead.

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    1. Thank you Pamela...I remember those days well, of President Ferdinand Marcos and Imelda Marcos. I can not begin to imagine what it must have been like for you as a young girl..sheltered and carefree sounds lovely. :)

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  15. Hard to see on the computer....and it is no longer called "magenta" SOB!!

    it is either the fourth one in on the top row from the left......or the second one in on the bottom row from the right!

    Magenta still reigns......55 years later!

    What fascinating readers you have!

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    1. Ah magenta...she is a lovely colour...especially in silk! They surely are fascinating readers...just like you Penelope. :)

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  16. At 10 , I was living in the outer suburbs of "Salisbury" Southern Rhodesia.. now called "Harare"
    Christmas spent in Beira, Moçambique.
    loved my pencil crayons ..all colours of the rainbow. Favorite- green ,blue, yellow's
    It was the time of Elvis and I would dance around with my friends to his music.
    Played on my bike after school
    went swimming with friends
    comic books exchanged on a saturday morning "flic"
    crazy about hoola hooping
    loved sundays with my mother and family..always had friends over at our home. Great smells from the kitchen.
    My life was wonderful, happy and carefree times.

    Lovely post Jeanne,
    It brought back memories of my childhood so long ago.
    Have a wonderful week.
    val





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    1. Val...if I had to highlight all my favourite thoughts and words in your comment, which I often do, it would be all of it. What an interesting childhood you had... I love a good tumble with the hoola hoop too. :)

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  17. What a gorgeous post, Jeanne. Yes, I remember her and I wish that I could reach back and wrap my arms around her, protect her. I was almost too open at that age. Taking in absolutely everything.

    My color was close to yours but not the same: cornflower blue.
    Bisous,
    H

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    1. Ah Heather, Cornflower blue...always makes me think of those two lovely elderly ladies in the movie 'A Room With A View'...do you recall the scene? The father and son, Denholm Elliott and Julian Sands adorn the ladies hair in cornflowers...the smiles of delight were unforgettable. I imagine it would be the same if it happened to you. :)

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  18. I loved magenta and that funny "Gumby" green that I can't find a name for.

    Thanks for this blog. I was 10 in '65 and share many of the memories you have stirred up in my mind. This is a great exercise in reconnecting with one's inner child!

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    1. Lovely way to put it HW... reconnecting with one's inner child.. :)

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  19. Oh Jeanne you are only three years younger than I. I was nearly 10 when President Kennedy was assasinated. To this day I can remember where I was in my school at that minute it was announced. I don't remember what my favorite crayon color was. I just remember that I liked intense color...I was told not to press to hard on the crayons! Great post!

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    1. Cindy..that sounds so familar...pressing hard on the crayons...I was also told to stop daydreaming too. I have a feeling you may have been the same. :)

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  20. Hi Jeanne, I'm been catching up with your world, and I so enjoyed this post. Interesting how so many of the comments are about favorite colors. Hmm the photo must have inspired. But I don't recall colors as much as books. As a little girl I always had my nose in a book, and by ten I had plowed through the original Borrowers series, was a fan of dear old Nancy Drew adventures, had fallen in loved with Little Women and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and was on my way to Wuthering Heights. When I close my eyes, I can remember all the make-believe stories I play acted with my cousins and the starry eyed dreams that propelled me into adolescence. Oh my, ten was such a tender year!
    Leslie (aka Gwen Moss)

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    1. Tender it was Leslie...and Nancy Drew made it all the sweeter. Where the adventures begin... :)

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  21. Dear Jeanne, I was in the fifth grade as a ten year old. One of my most vivid memories is the slamming of the lunchroom screen door as we would leave to go out to play. I love reading, playing jump rope and horseback riding. It was the year my parents bought their farm and moved us to the country. My favorite color was blue. I so enjoy reading your post. Thank you for taking be back. Hugs, Bonnie

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    1. What a wonderful ten year old life you lived Bonnie...a farm..it must have been wonderful! :)

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  22. Hi Jeanne, 1966 is the year I turned 10. I am the oldest of 5 kids. My sister and I shared a tiny upstairs room and had many arguments over who was on who's side! Our 3 brothers shared the larger room across the hall from us. There was no heat vent in our room so we would stand in the hall over the furnace vent watching our flannelette nightgowns billow with the warm air blowing into them. We played a lot of "house, school, office" in that tiny room. I was always, Miss Hastings. Can't remember who my sister was. I'll have to ask her.
    Thanks for reminding me of the fun I had at 10! xo Carole

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    1. Carole...we were living similar lives...I am the oldest of six, at the age of ten, I was the oldest of four. Big families are so much fun! I love that you always played 'Miss Hasings'. The advantage of being the oldest at a young age...your way rules. :)

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  23. After reading your last post I just had to come back and see what everyone said! What a fun blog post! I love it! Why am I only remembering the White Crayon? I remember always searching for one and it being hard to find! Oh well….at ten, we had moved 5 time in my life…different school for every year of my life until 7th grade! But I remember loving it! We were in California at that point having come from Memphis, to Denver and then two places in California before ending up in Birmingham, Alabama! All wonderful memories!

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    1. Carolyn...all those places..like moving around the world. I am sure it felt like that. I can see why you want to stay put...your beautiful family! :}

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  24. See yourself at ten: at home, at school, and at play.
    Where did you live?
    Can you see your house or apartment, and the street?
    Walk through the rooms in your childhood home.
    What did you bedroom look like?
    Who were your friends?
    Such a beautiful post... The colour was definitely green... For the leaves and trees and grass. I liked to draw a lot and was pretty good at it, almost went to art (the reason I didn't was because I was already busy at regular and music schools)
    I didn't really have a best friend, I was more interested in my books, little figurines I made and, well, drawings and piano. :) I vividly remember the scent of Play-Doh, although but the age of 10 I already switched to white clay (I'm not sure what it's called here...) to make the above mentioned figurines and jewellery.
    And so I spent my days studying, reading or making all kinds of things and then, whenever I felt hungry, I would eat pasta, plain with some grated cheese on top, the best thing ever. :) And ice-cream. Still love those foods.
    At 10 (in Russia it was grade 3) the subjects were still pretty boring apart from art, because I could draw for a whole hour. :)
    Oh, and you know, although this isn't mentioned, I had a favourite dress, too... Shirt-style, with a full skirt, in some sort of mixed reds and oranges. I called "my fire dress" :)

    Back then I lived in Russia, now I am in the UK. :)

    xxx

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    1. I love that you had a 'fire dress' Little Rus..what a fascinating part of the world to live in ...even at 10. Sounds like you have a creative streak running through you. I hope you still use it! :)

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Can I just say....that I so enjoy what YOU have to say. If you would like to write to me directly, I would love to hear from you... jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com

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