What’s your earliest memory? The first real memory of your life?
It’s often said that your first memory goes back to the third year of your human life. Maybe that is why my earliest memory is of my nursery teacher. Though her face is blurry and I can’t remember her voice however hard I may try, but I clearly remember the way I felt around her.
I didn’t go to a play school. My mother trusted my sisters to take care of me when she got me enrolled into the school where they were studying. But I wasn’t one of those playful children who got everybody’s attention. I was the shy one… the one who was always found hiding behind her mum’s pallu. Though I grew up in a big family full of cousins and among loving sisters, I always kept to myself.
So, going to school was way more difficult for me than it’s for most kids. My mother tells me, on the first day I simply refused to let go of her.
But surprisingly, the first memory of my life is from the time when I started going to school and it’s a happy one. Even today, I clearly remember the small colorful classroom with four toddlers, including me, sitting on tiny chairs, around a tiny round table, with a woman lovingly hovering over us all… the woman was our nursery teacher.
However, this memory was lost to me, but it all came back after I met a woman one day. When I ran into her while I was out with my mother, the woman, with a surprised look, exclaimed how I had grown up and had also lost my stutter. While I stood there trying to make sense of what she was saying, my mother helped me recognise the person who seemed to know everything about me. It was my nursery teacher… my favourite person in the whole world, when I was a child. She also told me that I, who dreaded going to school in the beginning, later would not let go of her when it was time to leave school for home.
You see these first memories are the first impressions on our young minds. And even though most of us tend to forget them, they have an effect on who we become. They are probably the secret behind how our personality shapes up.
I’ve always had a deep faith that I will never be left alone in life. That, even if I lost a few people in life, someone would inevitably walk in. And it was this faith that helped me survive breakups, gave me strength when I stayed on my own away from home for the first time and other tough situations such as when I lost touch with my closest friends and when I switched jobs. I still have that faith - it’s such a warm, comforting feeling to know that someone will always be there. And since then, someone always has been.
I came to realise the reason behind this belief when I met my teacher after so many years. When my mom revealed the strong connection I formed with my school teacher, and how I connected it with my first memory of life … it all fell into place. My teacher made my terrible fear of being separated away from my mother as a child melt away, because she took care of me like I was her own child. And she built this safety net inside of me which stayed with me for all my life.
So, I ask you, what’s your first memory? Maybe it’s all you need to think of, to unlock a couple of mysteries about yourself.