In 1984, I was ten years old.
For the first time, I was able to grasp the meaning of the passage of time. Understand the relationship between myself and the fact that in X years, I would be Y number of years old, not just in a mathematical sense, but in the way that related specifically to me, myself, as a person at a point in the future.
I remember thinking that ten was the perfect age to be. I had trouble imagining being older than ten. In fact, anything older than twelve, say, seemed distant, vague, frightening even. Unattainable.
The idea that I would be twenty-six in the year 2000, seemed like an eternity away.
But for the first time, I truly realized that in the year 2000, in the year when the familiar 19 would give way to a 20, I would be twenty-six years old, my brother Tom would be twenty-two and my brother Ted would be twenty.
Twenty-six meant adulthood. Marriage. Children. Career.
The lens of my childhood cast me as a mother with two young children of my own, a career of some sort and a husband, who bore the face of my childhood sweetheart on an adult body.
I was completely unable to fill in the gaps between myself then and the self that I would become.
Now here I am, twenty-five on the brink of that mythical twenty-six, and I look back at the ten year old self with fondness and familiarity. She is still here inside me, that ten-year-old Beth who looked out at the world with such wonder and excitement tempered with trepidation.
After all, it seemed like such a big, big world back then.
I find though, that my life has taken a completely different path from that which I predicted for myself.
I have clarified the indistinct career, become fully entrenched in the life of a late-twentieth century Web designer. But the other things ... marriage ... children ... the things I saw so clearly then, have become more blurred.
I have love and family and friends. I have a long-term committed relationship. But my ten-year old brain probably could never have imagined, let alone grasped the journey that has brought me to this point in time.
Over the next month, I want to take you back in time.
I want to give you a gift, of sorts.
That gift is series of snapshots, observations, words from myself as I was at age ten.
I'm looking back to look forward, taking stock of where I am now, to contrast the person I have become, with the child that I was, and the adult I thought I would grow up to be.
Welcome to my millennium memoir ...