Did we feel lonely as children? Because I can’t remember many times I wasn’t alone. Off in a corner, a corner of the world. Make belief was a religion and monsters actually stayed under the bed if we told them to. I would draw a map for my past self because his dreams were something worth following. He knew the importance of pretend and now, I can pretend, that I’m okay, that I have it all figured out.
I wish I could meet my child self on the playground and watch the world take on a new shape together. We’d exchange lunches like we’d exchange stories, in pieces. Enjoying them and thinking about the quality and value of them. Wondering if a fruit roll up was really worth everything…
When I was a kid I conquered the entire world before I left my house in the morning. These days it seems the only thing I conquer is the urge to fall back asleep, and I fail frequently. Did we always waste so much time dreaming instead of sleeping? Did we always try that hard? Laugh that hard? Cry that hard? And think so big? What we gave as children we traded in so we could grow up, never considering the value of what we already had and might lose. Grown ups always told me to cherish my childhood and not grow up too fast. What a joke I thought that was. The truth is, I’m smaller now than I was then.
Holding onto your younger self might just be a good thing. I used to colour the sky a shade of purple and paint the grass neon red. I had no issue imagining such things. Now you’d be hard pressed to get me to make a wish on my birthday. Whether it’s gone or never came, there was magic in this place. There is good in avoiding the cracks on the sidewalk as you skip to the bus stop. Racing from one end of the street to the other. The Saturday mornings where you felt anything was possible. You are most spectacular when you are smiling.
So remember the times where you got your hands sticky, or scraped your knee rollerblading. The time you got a raisin stuck in your nose. There is still good here. Perhaps we did feel lonely as children. Perhaps you and I were imaginary friends who thought a wish was worth something. Perhaps those kids on the playground know what they’re doing when they swing so high.
In moments of joy, release the chains and jump. In moments of madness, paint your skies purple. In the overwhelming moments, tilt your head back, look out and let the world be made different.”