I wish I were a kid again...
One of the great things about being a kid, a young kid, is that, in most cases, you're free to be exactly who you are. Good personality traits or bad, you hold nothing back. As you grow older, you begin to temper those traits to conform with what's acceptable. Sometimes it's a necessity - belting out every answer in math class as a show tune certainly isn't acceptable. And sometimes, it's our peers who decide what's 'cool' or not. We start to section off little pieces of ourselves and bury them, deep down inside our soul, so that we fit in. So that we look like we belong. So that we're normal.
What we don't realize is by doing that we're stunting the person we authentically are. We're taking our creativity and stuffing it into a pre-formed mold, hoping beyond hope that we can still reach the artistic pieces of ourselves on command. But the years go by and as adults, we're discouraged from being who we truly are by spouses and kids and jobs and life. And one day we look around and wonder, "How did I get here? Who is this person? This isn't me."
For decades, I tamped down the me I knew I was whenever something I did was met with disapproval, real or imagined. That's all it took to break any defiant streak I had. Disapproval and judgement. A scoff, a word, a look. I towed the line, rarely defying the confines of what was acceptable. But every once in a while, a spark would flare, and that person I remembered from childhood would shout loudly enough for me to hear. And I'd take a chance, risk the condemnation, and go for it. And I'd be happy.
I've reached the point in my life where I recognize the inner conflict I deal with on a continuous basis is rooted in the 'real me/me I have become' dichotomy. I don't like it anymore (not that I ever really did). I'm tired of being the person everyone else thinks I should be; the person everyone else expects me to be. The person I expect me to be.
So I'm letting go of the filaments that bind me. Tearing down the walls I've built. Digging deep to rescue the little girl who once viewed life in a completely different light than I do now. Because if I don't do this now, I'm afraid I never will. It won't be easy. It won't be something that I can do overnight, or in a day, or in a week, month, even a year. It took a long time for me to get where I am and it will take a fair amount to get me to where I want to be. But I'm determined to get there. Because I liked that girl I was. I liked her a lot.
The question is, will everyone else?