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  • Writer's picturewaldoise

Went back to bring it back!

Updated: Aug 2, 2023

Recently I went to make a delivery to a school in the area where I had attended secondary school. I really couldn't resist the temptation of passing the old route, to see how much it had changed in the past decades.

As I approached the crest of the hill and swung off onto the steep valley road the flood gates burst to long past and forgotten events. Top of the list was reaching late for my french exam! We had had one of those infamous traffic congestions of that time, I barely made it into the room before the cut off time for late arrival. Took me another ten minutes or so to get my nerves under enough control to even read the exam questions, not to mention write the answers. Horrible experience really.

I slowed the car now as I searched for the house of Mum's where it was decided that I would stay on days when I had exams first up in the morning to avoid a repeated situation. Just as I pointed it out to my daughter, who was now the recipient of a narrated story of my school days experiences, I spotted the now not so young man whom had lived there since then. Well this memory made me smile, one of my favorite pastimes as teenager was playing table tennis, to the point that I got into trouble on this occasion for going upstairs to the house where the two brothers, both teenagers as I was then, would have been to play table tennis on their kitchen table when I was actually supposed to be spending time with my grandmother, who by then was their tenant. When my mother arrived to pick me up and realized what I was doing, well, if she was the beating type, I would have been skinless. I got some of the worst buff of my life that day. But back to my journey down through the neighborhood where I now pointed out the path that I would have taken every afternoon after school to go to any of my extracurricular activities. There were the houses that looked as if frozen in time, they had not changed at all especially the one where the lady who had complained to the school principal that "those young ladies are way too loud, they are always laughing and joking while walking down the road! Don't they know that young ladies are to be seen and not heard!", I doubt I need to explain here the dressing down we would have gotten after that. There were buildings that were just making me sad as they were now quite dilapidated seeming not to have had any attention paid to them since those days, and some of these buildings I am sure are quite the architectural treasures as the louvers and other wood work and structural details are evidently of over 100 years.

Then there is the space that is now a car park where my friends and I had proven that racism was alive and well, but that may be for another blog. It was nice to note as well that there had been quite a bit of progress along the way with several spanking new structures.

By this time I had delivered my order and we were heading into the city, I passed my place of employment, the only one where I had an employer. Gave me a great perspective of work life and help set the path for the rest of my working life. I learnt of workplace interactions of all sorts here in a perfect incubator, no pun intended, of a workspace.

The memory generated here was the importance of looking back as I was able to now fully appreciate how far I had come, sometimes in life I think as we live in the moment, we lose a sense of the length of the journey that has been traveled. My journey would not have been classified as very difficult, however, neither would it be classified as easy, it was and still is about midway in between. There have been many struggles but equally as much successes. Beside my place of work the next point was the bank where I would have had an account before I was tall enough to look over the counter, I fiercely guarded my bank book, (younger readers you know what to do Google or chat GPT,) probably still have it, and closely monitored my 25 cents and $0.50 deposits, appreciative at how my balance grew, it makes me laugh even now how life has changed.

No more bank books, little need to visit the bank, much reduced value of coins, for that matter It seems we don't even use them anymore, and I can definitely see over the counter. But I have been to that bank so many times. It was actually the one where my mother herself had her first account when she was a child, had it not been for that foresight of my grandmother our entire business pathway could have been different as I do not know another commercial bank that would given financial facilities to an inexperienced black woman with no major assets, no family backing, no rich friend and no organization a start. It was just she and I, not even out of my teenage years as yet, so there, I was like no help. But once granted it was shoulders to the wheel to ensure the opportunity wasn't wasted. I'm surprised I even have a shoulder remaining.

By now we were at the site of the first business, maybe because I'm already in a reflective mood

I take my time to survey the surroundings, and I contemplate my circumstances. Pulling up from deep in the memory chest some of the businesses that were within that area, so much can happen in just a year so far more for these several decades, it's almost unrecognizable. As is evident even with my own business journey at present, taking a business from one generation to a next us like a multi disciplined sport and relay in one and speaks volumes as to why having a business for 100years is a feat hardly ever achieved.

But alas, I did come to the end of the delivery journey and to conclude I'd say, I have never been shy about looking back, but going back, that has put me back on track, to track my path from there to here, from then to now.

Sometimes it is good to just revisit your history to remind yourself how far you have come, it is easy to become disillusioned, lost in what one is yet to accomplish and overlook what has been successfully achieved. A pat on the back may be in order. I'll go give myself one now!

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Lennise Baptiste
Lennise Baptiste
Aug 01, 2023

Great reflection with which I could identify and appreciate the lessons. You've awakened something in me and set me thinking ... I need to do a similar journey with my school and workplaces.

Aug 02, 2023
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Yesssss do it! This is quite cathartic!

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