I know! Adorable, right?
How old could I have been…maybe 4?
So cute, precious, special. So open to life and the world and possibilities…so innocent, really.
I am trying to get back there, to that pace of innocence. That place where every day was special, a new adventure. Where I lived freely in the moment….where I accepted the way life was and didn’t yet want to change it or wish that it could be different.
Because, of course, that innocence faded fast, with rapid introduction of siblings, with parents who drank and fought. I withdrew more and more as I got older, self-preservation for sure. I remember very little from my childhood, actually..bits and snatches, certain key moments. I do remember always making a little place for myself in the closet of whatever room I was sharing with my sister…MY space. I was protective of it and spent way too much time there. I’d read, listen to music, plot out my life, what it might look like. My isolationist tendencies started very early, just to escape the chaos. They stayed with me though, throughout my life. I was profoundly uncomfortable if I had people over when I started living on my own. I think that’s where I first had the brilliant idea of front-loading..took some of the social anxiety away. I wasn’t a daily drinker, but I would drink a lot when people came over, for parties or to visit. It was ok to drink with others. I drank a lot when I went out too…again, socially acceptable but also a mask I wore. Isolating even in the midst of a crowd, false fronts.
Where did that little me go?
I look at that picture now and know she is still with me, coming closer and close to the surface. She is that person who is open to new things, new experiences. She’s not jaded and through with life because of fear and setbacks. She understands that there is work to be done, but it must be done with love, gently. Without recrimination, guilt or shame. With acceptance of all that has transpired and the assurance that, deep inside, little me is thriving on every positive step I take, every move I make away from isolation, secrets and lies. I picture her as radiant.huge smiles when I do something good, whether it is service towards others or the recognition that I deserve to be of service to myself too. That little girl took me to a meeting tonite and then laughed uproariously at a sitcom afterwards. She played Candy Crush and ate some ice cream. She came with me as I wandered the mall for a bit today, not buying, just wandering. Out among people, smiling, being kind. She let me know it was ok to get Chipotle even when I was feeling guilty about not cooking. She is my friend; she doesn’t judge, and she is with me all the time.
I need to listen to her more, accept and thank her more, that little me. That place of grace and innocence and faith in life that is there, and getting stronger every day. She is a special little girl.
Me too. I am a special little girl