After dwelling on what Favorite Thing I would choose as the first topic---since, you know, the first topic kind of sort of lays the foundation for the rest of this series---I decided to go back to some of my earliest memories of my life, to a time when I didn't know what cruelties existed in this world, a time when my imagination was an awesome (literally, causing awe) creator.
And so. I was about three years old.
Living in a one-bedroom apartment, located above the landlord's office, in a not-so-nice part of Dallas. Of course, three-year-old Euni didn't perceive the "not-so-nice-ness" of her surroundings. Those surroundings were her habitat.
It was a modest childhood, my older sister and I would play "dolls" with pencils and crayons, make "dresses" out of napkins for the girl crayons and have the boy crayons drive "cars" made from our own shoes. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, every day, but when I wasn't playing with crayons and pencils, I would explore the limits---or should I say, explore the uncharted territories---of my imagination.
I would create (since I didn't know how to write then) and sing songs, and I would play with my plain (yet loyal) "tito." What I enjoyed the most, however, was the time I spent with Mickey and Minnie Mouse. This is the part where it's kind of obscure: I really don't know where or how my mini-obsession with these Disney characters started, but I would spend hours playing with invisible versions of them. I would say, "Mickey did [this and that] today," or "Mickey told me today..."
~~~Today, I can understand the creepiness of the situation. I mean, yeah, some children have vivid imaginations, but when they start talking about their imaginary friends in too real a sense, it calls for attention.~~~
Anyway, my family understood I had an affinity for Mickey and Minnie. I don't remember who, but one of my family members gave me a black and red Minnie Mouse polka dot dress. The image below is the closest I could find to the actual dress---or the closest to the memory I have of the dress...
|The Minnie dress.|
Anyway, I guess I went through a little phase of sorts...I would wear this dress whenever I could. My dear mother would wash it, and sure enough, within 24 hours you would find me in the dress. The entire time I'd be chattering away about the things I did with Mickey and Minnie, unaware of how my vivid imagination was perceived by the adults around me.
Then one day...
I was talking with my mother about Mickey, and I guess she had grown tired of this imaginary character and his unwelcome company...I was wearing the dress...She got up.
Walked toward the kitchen and got the scissors. Came back to where I was blabbering on about my adventures with Mickey, and she said, "Stop with all this Mickey stuff! He's not real!" Yes...I do recall, I was trying to show her a drawing I had made, supposedly depicting something Mickey had done.
My mother had clandestinely started cutting my dress apart. When I noticed the mutilated state my dress was now in, I started to cry. Not the loud and annoying bawling that normal kids do, no, I did the signature Euni cry---silent, swelling tears building up in my eyes, until one by one, large singular tear drops rolled down across my cheeks.
It goes without saying, given my eccentric childhood behavior, that little Euni reacted differently to this episode. I didn't speak of the incident immediately afterward, and my adventures with Mickey merely became rare, make-believe kid stories. I did go on a tiny hunger strike---perhaps it was an unconscious effort on little Euni's part to rebel against the reality of life---but it didn't last very long.
I know, this Favorite Things post ends on a rather sad note, but remembering it, the fact that I knew no limits at one (rather early) point in my life adds courage and curiosity to current Euni. What did I have back then that made me fearless? What did I have that opened up my mind and allowed me to create great things? It is up to me, now a 23-year-old young professional, to find that spark once more. And I know, that when I find it, I will be unstoppable against all obstacles that come my way. :)