What if she was right all along?
She being me, that is. The first me. The real me. The skinny little girl on the swing with sun-streaked hair. She believed with all her heart that life was pure possibility and that she was a part of it. She was a sweet, open-hearted little thing and her world was limitless. It never occurred to her for a even a moment that anything she dreamed up couldn’t be made real. But I’ve spent a lifetime trying school that kid. Trying to make to see her place and conform.
That’s impractical. It will never happen. Stop it.
Don’t be too excited. It’s annoying. Settle down.
You’re too sensitive.
You’re too much, in general.
Don’t be so weird.
But…what if she had it right? What if everyone else, all those well-meaning people who tried to hold her feet on the ground, were wrong?
What if nothing is actually wrong with her? With me. What if there is no such thing as being too sensitive and idealistic? What if it’s okay that all of my feelings are HUGE and plow through me like Mack Trucks? What if that little girl is exactly what the world is missing?
These are all rhetorical questions. Because it’s becoming increasingly clear to me that she was right. I was right. And I’m betting you were too.
I have this theory that who we were as children is who we really are. Of course I don’t mean the jerky little you who always had to be blue and go first in Candy Land. (Or was that just me?) I mean the you who LOVED something and knew that something was what you were created to do. And you didn’t have to think about it at all. It was as natural as breathing. It was YOU.
For me this was creating worlds and characters and stories. I moved effortlessly in and out of my own fantastical imagination and tried to drag the magic I found there back out with me to share. Reading and writing and reading and writing. Always. I was gluing school pictures to the back of my homemade books and crafting my own About the Author sections. I never worried if I was being impractical. I never worried if I was a strange girl or if I was too much. I was just doing what I was supposed to be doing.
But here’s the problem. Who we truly are is eventually pummeled into submission by fear. Fear that we’re not enough. That we’re not wanted or valuable. We try to stuff ourselves into boxes that aren’t made for us and can’t contain us. We betray those children we were in the name of protecting ourselves from ridicule or rejection.
Isn’t it possible that you could be just what this upside down world needs? And I mean the real you. The first you. What did you love as a child? What made you light up inside? Can you remember? Because that’s it. That’s what you’re supposed to be doing. And it doesn’t matter if the chance that you’ll ever be published is practically zero. Or that no one is listening to you. It doesn’t matter if the world calls it pointless or unrealistic. Forget about all the lies that made you put you away. The world needs that you.
I need to write. I need to. I need to be creating something. And it doesn’t matter if no one thinks I’m any good at it. It doesn’t matter if no one ever reads a single word. The world tells us we need praise and approval. And, of course, that feels really good. But that isn’t the point.
I am the point, You are the point. Doing what we are made to do, that’s the point.