As adults, most of us can remember a moment in our childhoods that shaped who we are today. For example, one time my dad’s car got stuck in the snow and he had to leave my sister and I behind to get help. I was cold, but my sister was colder, and so I gave her my jacket. Even today, I can’t be comfortable if I know someone else is uncomfortable.
Or here’s another example. In middle school, we took a Greyhound to Toronto. As we were about to leave, I had to go to the bathroom. I could have gone at school, but I decided to wait ’til I got on the bus. To my horror, the bathroom was out of service, and I soiled myself in front of all my classmates. And that’s why I never trust bathrooms on public transportation. Both of these moments were equally formative in making me who I am today.
Recently, Twitter user @chrelisem asked her followers to share their own stories about formative experiences. She kicked things off with an example of her own:
What’s a childhood anecdote that says a lot about you?
Mine is that when I was 8 my friends and I went door to door selling homemade keychains so we could buy Bibles for our bullies.
— Christina (@chrelisem) February 13, 2018
My reasoning at the time was that if they read the Bible they would stop bullying me. I have since come to realize that in the hands of a bully the Bible can be as effective a weapon as any, but hey, my heart was in the right place.
— Christina (@chrelisem) February 13, 2018
Her followers replied with a number of stories of their own, and here are 15 of the most interesting. And be sure to tell us about your own formative experiences in the comments! (via Bored Panda.)
1. They always do the right thing. Even when it’s completely unnecessary.
I found $20 in can of tennis balls and took it to the police station to turn in. They were like… lol it’s yours.
— imaginarycircus (@imaginarycircus) February 14, 2018
2. This “Christmas” conspiracy could go all the way to the top!
When I was 5, I told my parents, “There isn’t a Santa Claus, is there.” Not a question – a conclusion.
They said, “Don’t tell anyone.”
That felt wrong – I had helpful info about a huge conspiracy! – so I told all our friends and made our family the scourge of the neighborhood.
— Jessica S. Marquis (@bizette) February 14, 2018
3. Amelia Bedelia: the early years.
When I was about 10 my mom sent me to the post office with a bunch of bills and said, “Buy stamps and put these in the mailbox.” So I bought the stamps and put the bills in the box.
At no point did I put stamps on the bills.
— ?????? ?????? (@kbaxwriter) February 14, 2018
4. When she gets a new hobby, she goes all in.
When I was a kid (super young, like 7 or 8) I was super into Egypt. For a few month period I thought it’d be smart to fall asleep with my arms crossed over my chest so if I died in my sleep I’d be easier to mummify, as I’d already be in the right position.
— Kylie-Sky (@frostedlemon) February 14, 2018
5. She never gives up, and never listens to the haters.
My 6th grade teacher told me that I shouldn’t sign up for choir again because I couldn’t sing. – In 7h grade (new teacher) I won first chair, first soprano all state. I proceeded to win more competitions. Ultimately I was awarded voice scholarships to attend university.
— Tonya Hall ??? (@TonyaHallRadio) February 14, 2018
6. The squeaky wheel gets the promotion.
In preschool, I refused to nap because I wanted to read. The teachers then put me in charge of reading aloud as the rest of the kids were falling asleep. Win-win, really.
— Katie “Unlikable” Freeman (@katie_freeman) February 14, 2018
7. She’s a fabulist. Which is a fancy word for “liar.”
When I was in third grade, I think, I spent half the year telling my classmates about the summers I spent on a kibbutz in Israel. I also taught them Hebrew. Only, I’d never been to Israel, and I spoke zero Hebrew. All blew up on Parents’ Night. ?
— Lorin Oberweger (@AuthorLor) February 14, 2018
8. She’s either an entrepreneur, or a shakedown artist.
My mom worked in a roller rink, so I practically lived there. When I was 7/8, I had regulars paying me to not annoy them while skating ($3 for one session, $5 for both). I spent all the money on video games and snacks. The night my mom caught me, I had $40 on me.
— Jenny (@wolfchild59) February 14, 2018
9. He never suffers fools gladly. Even in preschool.
3 years old. Health Visitor comes to check how i’m doing. I’m colouring, silent the whole time.
Her (holding up red crayon): Say red
Her: Red. Say Red!
Her (to Mum): If he doesn’t start talking soon he’s going to need speech therapy
Me: It’s not red, it’s maroon
— Ben Cheadle (@NothinButTired) February 14, 2018
10. She’s a competitor.
I had a competition with my sister to see how many beads we could shove up our noses. I won, but had to go to the doctor on Xmas eve to have a bead removed with long, scary tweezers. Still, I won.
— Olivia Solon (@oliviasolon) February 14, 2018
11. She’s got a sick sense of humor. And that’s wonderful!
At around 5 or 6 I wrote and illustrated a Looney Tunes fanfiction in which Sylvester successfully captured, butchered, and consumed Tweety.
My dad praised me for creating a story that was “unexpected.”
— Jolie Menzel (@joliemenzel) February 14, 2018
12. Sometimes you just need a change of scenery.
When I was around 6, I decided to run away and live in the woods. When my mom asked why I was packing a bag, I told her, and invited her to join me. Loved my parents, just wanted to try living in a hollow tree for a while, you know?
— cheri marie (@cherimarie) February 14, 2018
13. She’s not afraid of the truth. Nor is she afraid of sharing it.
My mom was very big on making sure I learned the factual, scientific reasons behind things because I went to a Catholic school. By kindergarten, I knew the general how-tos of the birds and the bees. And I shared this with my entire class. Sister Mary Was Not Pleased.
— ?Citlali?♠️? (@stargirl_luna) February 14, 2018
14. A future mortician, or horror novelist.
Seven year old me studied the corpses of small animals our cat left outside, and told my mom “I’ve noticed the eyes always go first.”
— oh crumbs (@squishythings) February 14, 2018
15. He’s never afraid to ask for help.
My neighbour & friend Louise wrapped my willy up in sellotape. We were five. My mum had to cut the tape off with scissors & I never felt embarrassed. She is still -thankfully – helping me resolve life issues.
— Tom Lawton (@tomlawton) February 14, 2018
h/t: Bored Panda