I remember this little girl very well. I look at her and instantly, I see everything. I know she would think I was just the coolest, and that makes me want to love myself more. So I keep her with me, because she deserves being held onto.
Little me; brave and wild. She spent hours climbing trees, as high as she could go, and she would stand on a sturdy branch and look down and the forest below. She wanted a dad who wasn’t there, loved a mom who couldn’t love her back the way she needed. She was straight A’s and crooked teeth. She was science club, clarinet, no fruit, no bad words. The day she got glasses she cried in front of her entire class because her teacher called her “the girl with the glasses” and everyone laughed. (Or she thought they did). The boys she liked NEVER liked her back, and self doubt first appeared on the scene, but she never changed who she was, even though she was lonely. Easily one of her best traits.
This little girl is me.
I’m still the exact same, just bigger, with straight teeth, lipstick, two kids of my own and 10 pairs of fun glasses. I traded in my treetops for a top floor apartment with a huge window looking out on a giant old tree. A safer version of my old home. When it rains, I open the blinds, lay on the floor and look up and pretend I’m in a treehouse. I am the same, and little me can’t tell the where she ends and I begin, and neither can I. I no longer ache for a loving mother; instead I became one. My sons will never have to wish for more.
Boys still don’t like me, but I think it’s because they are afraid of me, and I’m more than okay with that. Girls don’t like me either, but I like them, and I encourage them to like each other. I’m still lonely sometimes, but I do not need company to feel solid, and learning that changed my life. Even when I am alone, she is there. I never have to travel too far to find her. She’s everywhere I am. I carry her with me, so we are never alone.
If I could talk to her now, I would tell her countless things but here are a few:
- you are amazing
- it is so cool that you have a rock collection
- it’s okay that you never learned roman numerals because you fell asleep in class that one time, it literally never comes up in real life. Same with algebra.
- do not hurt people just because you are hurting
- you don’t have to be around people who mistreat you just because they are family, you don’t owe them that
- eat all of the food because your metabolism slows WAY down at like 25
- you are going to hurt for a long time over a lot of things, but use it to make you kinder, smarter, and more determined, not bitter and angry
- actually try when you get to college, you will not get that time back and you are too smart to have failed out of university, are you kidding me
- I know that you are insecure about your bird legs and knobby knees but please wear shorts if it is hot outside
- you do not need boys to like you in order to find value in yourself
- you will never like fruit so you can stop trying
- don’t change unless it is to get better, nicer, more thoughtful, more mindful, healthier, and happier, you are great just the way you are