There is always one moment in childhood when a door opens and lets the future in. — Graham Greene
I have spent a good bit of time contemplating this post. Then versus now… 10 year old me versus 62 year old me.
I looked for photo’s, but… sadly, there are few photos from my childhood. I could find my 6th grade photo… but not one from the year before. But perhaps my memories will be enough… and by leaning in to authenticity… perhaps I will have some success telling a story that is hard to tell.
Ten year old me was an avid reader… books, you see gave me the greatest escape. I could settle into a book and suddenly be miles away. But, really… the only hope I had for my childhood was to simply survive. The “open door to my future” did not come until my sophomore year in high school, when I moved in permanently with my grandparents.
I’ve never spent any time then… or now… immersed in self-pity. Do I wish things had been different for me? Some days yes… (especially, when I have to figure out how to unpack the past and talk about it in any fashion…sigh) but most days not at all and though it has taken me a long time to say this… I very much like the person I am today… a person who still loves to read and most definitely is a survivor!
I think that 10 year old me would love what I am today… a confident, independent woman. I think that 10 year old who had no confidence for so many things, herself included, has found the confidence to say yes to things, and, perhaps more importantly, to say no to things as well..without worries of repercussions. I think that 10 year old me would love that I make myself a priority for some part of each day. I think 10 year old me would love how I am working through this year learning how to be more authentic with myself… a big part of which is learning to temper my inner critic. I think 10 year old me would be amazed that I am like myself…lots! And that I am learning to nurture those moments like the treasure they are!
But there are fun then and now things as well… I think 10 year old me would be shocked at how I now have an entire wardrobe made by me… that I wear regularly and LOVE! (10 Year Old Me thought ready-to-wear clothes that were not “second hand” were a wonder!)
I think 10 year old me would really wonder how I can like to read books that aren’t about horses…(for the longest time 10 year old me thought that Black Beauty was the be all, end all of books!)
I think that 10 year old me might wonder why I don’t spend time outdoors galloping around… or singing silly songs… (10 year old me could belt out all the “jingles!” and I still have perfect recall of all the words of this ditty as well as practically perfect recall of every episode of Schoolhouse Rock!)
I think that 10 year old me who struggled mightily with math would be in awe of my mad math skills today!
All in all… I am so grateful to that 10 year old girl who knew that escape and survive was the best solution then…and to the me now who realizes that it is okay for the past to stay in the past. That while that past made me what I am, it does not make up the minutes of my day today. And that makes then and now so much better!
Thank you for visiting this month… I will be. back on Wednesday with some Skirt Knitting updates!