12 year old me between the bars of the Eiffel Tower with my younger cousin.
I’ve had a belief for a long time that the traits we have at childhood are really the ones at the base of our soul. The world changes us, we can all agree with that, it’s harsh. I’ve been through my fair share of hurt, as I’m sure you have too. We get tougher, we break, we regain, we grow. It’s nonstop shaping. The “real world” if you will. So, who were you before the world broke you?
I’m not suggesting in any way shape or form that we shouldn’t change from our childhood self, our adolescent traits, I’m saying that they don’t go away, they stick with us, they just shift and mature, and hide. And when you think about, you envy that burden free little kid you were, that weird but great, free but protected. That little kid is a huge part of who you are.
I strive to make myself a mature version of the younger me, and let me telly you why:
- I was confident in myself in a way that didn’t involve bringing others down.
- I was always creating.
- I was full of ideas and inspiration, I wanted to do everything in the world, and, more importantly, I knew I could.
- I was a social butterfly. I’d make a best friend in three minutes flat.
- I was fearless.
Now I’m timid around big groups of people, I’m not shy, but I went through a phase where I was. It took a long time to teach myself how to reverse the process and I’m still working on it. I never even lost the creating, but I definitely lost the confidence. I was taught I wasn’t good enough when I was bullied to the point of attempted suicide in 8th grade. I hated myself. Then, as I started to heal and love myself again, I went through a phase that involved gossip and putting people down. Most of it was mental, “well at least I’m not the stupidest person in the room” or “well I might be over dressed but she’s wearing dressier clothes than me.” It took me a long time to shift that to “I’m smart.” and “Opps, I overdressed, but I still look fabulous.” As for being fearless, I’m working on that one. Childhood fearless and adult fearless are very different things, even though they are the exact same trait. I want to not be afraid of new things, awkward pauses, being a little too loud and crazy. I want to experience life in a way you only can when you are fearless, or, at least, tackling your fears.
Do you see where I’m coming from? When find ourselves we tend to find the traits we had we were little, they are just completely redefined.
What did you lose? What have you regained?