The Tragic Optimist

6 word memoir meme

Got tagged with another meme by FightingWindmills, back a few days ago, and am finally getting around to posting this. In this one you’re supposed to write a 6 word memoir, and illustrate it with pictures, if you’d like.  Here’s the original post about it, with back story, and rules and such.

So here goes my attempt:

____-tinted lenses: nerd, geologist, infertile, parent

I toyed between using a hat analogy (wearing my geologist hat) and the lens analogy (viewing the world through my nerd lenses) and settled on the lenses. I like the idea of my experiences being something that colors my views of the world , rather than just something I wear. Plus, wearing two hats looks silly and three, well, if you can pull that off, I guess that’d be pretty cool, but looking through two lenses still makes sense – you’d see things in tinted with a third color.

When I see through my nerd lenses, I laugh at the nerdy jokes, I see my job at the library as being possibly the coolest job ever, and I see the kids at the cool table and tell myself that I wouldn’t want to be there, while secretly wishing I was. With my geologist lenses, the outcrops along the highway become dangerous distractions, and I pick up rocks and lick them to better see their layers. They also color my views on the environment, giving me a strong love for this world, but also disdain for those who say we need to save the earth. (Earth doesn’t need our saving. Earth’s been here for more than 4 billion years. It’s the ecosystem that supports our lives that we should be worried about.) My infertile lenses tinge pregnancy and new baby announcements with a touch of sadness, but then they have also colored how I view issues as diverse as gay marriage, reproductive rights, family planning and stem cell research. And finally the parent lenses, which I seem to wear all the time now, are giving me glimpses of how the world might look through 16-month eyes (that happen to wear glasses). Little hills are all of a sudden huge mountains that will be great for rolling down. A balloon is the best. toy. ever. A tea cozy is a great hat.

Anyone who wants to give this a try should consider themselves tagged. It’s a lot harder than it originally sounded, 6 words is not very many.  I’d also love to hear what lenses you view the world through.


  1. Very thoughtful memoir and post, thanks for playing:)

  2. Interesting, and veeeery challenging. A 6-word memoir is a difficult feat for one as verbose (read: long-winded) as myself. I’ll have to think hard on that for a while.

    You did a wonderful job with yours. I wear the nerd, infertile, and parent glasses, too. I’m sort-of a general science nerd, but as a kid when I went through my geology phase, I liked quite a few rocks, myself. I’m not sure that I ever would have admitted that to anyone had I not seen you mention it first!

  3. Ann

    Thanks Bookbabie!

    Kymberli, yay another nerd! Your past geology phase is safe with me. Not that there’s anything wrong with that 🙂

  4. I meant to say “licked” quite a few rocks. My mom had a rock collection, and each one had been licked – the better to inspect the grains and strata, of course! Have you ever been out West? We lived in New Mexico for a couple of years when I was a kid and Frank thinks I’m slightly nuts that one of my fondest memories about the area was that it has what I call “nice dirt.” It was so easy to find turquoise pebbles, chips of flint, and various grades and shades of quartz.

  5. Ann

    Awesome – another rock licker! Not that I needed another reason to like you. I was born in S. Dakota and lived there for 7 years, and then lived in Colorado for another 7. It saddens me that I hadn’t hit my geology phase while I lived in those places, though I they really instilled a love of the mountains – I’m going back there someday… It figures I’d get interested in rocks while living in less geologically interesting places (Indiana and Minnesota – they both have their own nice rocks, but nothing like finding turquoise pebbles or flint).

  6. I also live in a geologically vapid area. Down hee-yah in Southern Coastal Georgia, we have flat lands and a high water table, which equals boring rocks and lots and lots of mud. I miss the red clay of New Mexico. Dig down just 6 inches and there it was. I sort-of a fascination with it.

    I also lived in Colorado for 2 years at Ft. Carson/Colorado Springs. Pike’s Peak was JUST outside my backdoor and I never tired of the view, even though I was a mere 6-7 years old.

  7. Good job with your memoir, Ann. Thanks for participating! 😉 The tea cozy as hat is soooooooo cute!

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