That’s me at eight years old. That little girl had a lot to say about both who I would become, and who I should become.
I found some old pictures of myself while clearing out my parent’s house. I had not seen these photos in years, if ever. As you might expect, at first I was filled with nostalgia. Then it struck me that in so many ways, I have become a grown up version of that little girl.
My eight year old self was wise to the joys and experiences that my true self needs. When I look at the photo of myself with the red typewriter, I am astonished. I don’t remember that typewriter. What I do remember is that we were not showered with hundreds of toys. Our Christmas list was carefully vetted, for we knew that Santa’s means were limited and that we would likely get only the things we most desired.
I know that I must have wanted that typewriter above all else. Even then, I loved reading and writing. I stapled papers together into little booklets to write my own books. I was a word nerd. The library was my favorite place. I planned to be a writer when I grew up. The typewriter was a perfect expression of my interests, and I am not surprised I didn’t choose a doll or a game.
My eight year old self also loved that blue bike. With a bike, I had freedom to roam. I went on solo adventures and rode all over town with my friends. I loved the independence I had, and the feeling that I could go wherever I wanted to go.
I still love reading and writing; when I left my job as an educator I became a writer. I still love to go on adventures though now I am inclined to go around the world instead of around the block. I find it ironic, that the cover photo on my blog includes a blue bike, no doubt I was unconsciously harkening back to happy days riding my childhood bike. This spring, longing to explore our city and get some exercise, my husband and I bought bikes. I am delighted to have wheels once again.
I think my eight year old self understood what I needed to be happy.
What did you love as a child? What were your passions and interests? Why did you love those things? What do your childhood hobbies tell you about yourself as person?
Our childhood selves were wise, and less jaded than our adult selves. The world had not yet shown us what we could or couldn’t do. We were open to joy and confident in our talents. We spent time doing things we loved. Whether we knew it or not, we were developing our sense of self.
As we grow into adulthood, our childish pursuits are often lost. Work and responsibility replace carefree days of play. We listen to others who show or tell us who we should be and what we should do. Sadly, sometimes we lose sight of things we love, the things that fill our buckets and connect us to our true selves.
I hope that as you think about your eight year old self, you are content in knowing that you have found a place for the things you loved as a child in your adult life.