Core Memories Part I

I went to see the new Pixar movie, Inside Out, with a bunch of friends last Tuesday and afterwards, while D&M-ing over Harbourside kebabs, we got into a discussion about our very own "core memories".

For those who haven't seen the movie, core memories are described in the film as memories which have a significant influence on the shaping of one's personality. They're kind of like the lightbulb moments of a person's life  - the key drivers of Riley's primary traits and values in Inside Out. I love that the movie was able to physically depict these aspects of a person's mental processes, and in a way that made so much more sense than my entire two years of senior high school English study combined. How many hours did I spend during the HSC trying to explain (in needlessly convoluted paragraphs) how relationships and experiences shape and individual's sense of belonging when I could have just said "Obviously we've all got personality islands which are powered by glowing memory balls". Bam. Band 6 right there. Would you like me to draw you a diagram as well, Board of Studies? 

Anyhow, back to the original topic at hand - after the movie, I spent the train ride home with nothing better to do than to mull over my own core memories. Which resulted in this very word vomit-y post. 

Core Memory 1: Friendship & Family Island

As cheesy as it sounds (and it sounds suuuuper Dominos Triple Cheese cheesy), I think everyone has, to some extent, some sort of Family or Friendship island. I know there are people out there who haven't had the financial/emotional support that I've received from my family and in those cases, their friends have acted as the base in life. And there's nothing wrong with that. 

Trying to narrow it down to a specific memory is a little bit harder, but I think I managed to sum it up perfectly in that post on childhood from a while back.

I grew up surrounded by these weirdos. We rode bikes together, built blanket tents together, suffered through head lice and chickenpox together (illness was something of a package deal with us six, much to the consternation of our parents). Sometimes we made each other cry but then held grudges that lasted all of 0.5 days so it was fine. I think we take each other for granted but then again, what do you expect when you've known someone for 16-20 years? We can't get away from each other even if we wanted to.  

As for Family, well they put up with me and all my shit so they win all the things. 

Core Memory 2: Books & Knowledge 

I might not look like it now (or maybe I do, who knows) but I used to be a massive nerd/bookworm. I devour books the same way Bruce Bogtrotter devours chocolate cake in Matilda. Dad used to take me to Whitlam library every second Friday afternoon to borrow books and I would come out of there with six or seven books every time. So I basically read three or four books a week throughout my primary and high school years.

I had a really awesome librarian at my first primary school who I would say was another one of the people who set me on the path to a love of all things literature. As a class, we used to have to do those weekly library sessions where you go in with your handmade tote bag and personalised bookmark to borrow whatever was on the approved list of children's literature. During one of these sessions, the school librarian sat us all down to convince us to read some of the books from the Book of the Year shortlist. She brought out a book called Dragonkeeper by Australian author Carole Wilkinson and was in the middle of explaining what it was about when I - being the young Hermione Granger that I was back then - put my hand up to say that I'd already read it.

Yes, I was an extremely obnoxious child.

Anyway, the librarian (I've since forgotten her name) kind of studied me for a little bit and then went back to her explanation. Afterwards, when all the other kids were running around fighting over Saddle Club books, she took me aside and asked me what my name was. I thought I was in trouble for interrupting her but instead, she led me to the library's back room and showed me her shelf of novels which still hadn't been laminated. These were the books which had either come in very recently from the publisher and were still awaiting teacher's approval, or were deemed too controversial for younger audiences. She picked one off the shelf, gave it to me and told me to tell her what I thought of it the following week. And then she did the same the week after, and the week after that. So that was how I graduated from Andy Griffith's Just Disgusting books to a steady diet of challenging, thought-provoking novels as recommended by my primary school librarian.

Thanks to her, I read everything from epic fantasy stories to old time classics. I was introduced to themes of friendship, oppression and conflict and I became addicted to stories. Everything she made me read was amazing and my 10-year-old self couldn't get enough.

I wish I could say I held on to these high standards throughout the years but then Twilight happened in 2005 and let's not talk about that. 

To Be Continued....


  1. Hey Cynthia! I don't know if you remember me, but I'm Belinda---a fellow CVHS graduate who asked you for feedback about Comms at UTS via facebook---and I stumbled along your blog (okay that was a bit of lie, I've just never felt brave or sleep deprived enough to comment), and well, I think this post is pretty funny, as in, your comedic timing is *thumbs up*.

    But great post though! I've watched Inside Out before, and yes, I also think we should have been allowed to submit this for our belonging story.

    1. Hi Belinda! Of course I remember you! How're you doing? I hope you're enjoying university - whichever one it is that you ended up choosing to attend. I'm always happy to hear that people actually read my blog (because mostly I just feel like I'm writing to myself) and try to return the favour. Link me to yours if you have one!

      And yes Inside Out is the bomb diggity.

  2. Heyyyy, yeah, I check your blog sporadically. Your writing is so very readable :) and I ended up picking UTS!!! And loving my choice. All the food that's available---omg, making a choice is hard.

    And I do have blog, it's on Wordpress though (let's not start any wars):


Popular Posts