Writing Me is Bigger Picture Blogs series of writing exercises created to help our community dive deeper into writing, grow creatively, and learn about ourselves and each other. This quarter we are writing from the prompt “I Remember…” and each week we will feature one of our community members.
This week’s post comes to us from Sarah.
I remember when a merry-go-round was just that: a playground ride. A colourful and fun spinning circle, separated into segments via bars to keep children safe.
I remember spending hours spinning on them with friends, trying to get mum and dad (or anyone really) to push us round faster and faster. Sometimes you felt as though you might slide off altogether. You definitely had to hold on tight.
Some kids never held on. They seemed to have no fear of falling, no matter how fast the ride went around.
I always held on.
As a teenager, we would still use the merry-go-round, but not so much as a ride. It was more a place to sit and talk and plan and dream. We would sit there on sunny days and rainy ones. We didn’t mind the weather too much. We just wanted somewhere we could go and just be. Not have to do anything, say anything, be quieter, watch what we say. We just wanted to be allowed to be
ourselves. However imperfect and moody and grumpy ourselves might be.
It was only ever a ride if some boys tagged along. They generally didn’t want to talk. They would push us round until we made them stop. Probably to distract us from our conversations. Probably also to make us pay attention to them a bit more.
We couldn’t always use the merry-go-round. Sometimes it was full of little kids spinning like mad things. We’d wait them out or even kind of intimidate them into going on a different ride so we could have it to ourselves. Then we were happy. If the parents were there with the kids we had no chance. The mums would often ask us to get off so the kids could go on. It was a kids ride after all.
And we’d get off kind of moodily. And wait our turn once more.
Now I never go on merry-go-rounds. Never at all. But they mean something different to me now. They remind me of my struggles, of my dark times. The merry-go-round became a symbol for me. A symbol of my struggle with my emotions. Of my struggle with depression.
Each segment is usually a different colour. These different colours represent my different feelings and emotions. I worked this out after much counselling and soul searching and frankly hours of pain and tears. I was so worried once I got out the other side of my depression that it might come bouncing back that I worried myself depressed instead. Nightmare. The importance of this merr-go-
round is the fact that it does in fact go around. No matter what bad feelings I may be facing at any given time, they will not be in place forever. The merry-go-round will keep on turning.
It may get a little stuck. I may have to give it a push to get it moving. But it will move on. The dark feelings, the low feelings, the soul sucking mind mashing black feelings can be moved along. They can be pushed on. They are not the end destination. There is no end destination when it comes to feelings. They will always be shifting and moving with you.
I remember the merry-go-round fondly: as a childhood ride, a teenage conference room and as an aide memoire. I remember it each and every day.
You can visit Sarah at A Cat Like Curiosity.