Yesterday, I read a great post on Freshly Pressed by Susan on her blog Three Cats on a Sofa. It is called Letter to My Past Self. I contemplated her idea. What would I write to give the younger me more insight and more direction?
While I like the idea, it struck me that the younger me didn’t want to hear it. As a young adult, a time for me of selfish indulgence, I needed to break free and make it in the world…or not. I needed to fall flat, make mistakes, and get dirty. I needed to be inefficient and poor, impulsive and stupid. There wasn’t anything a “real” adult could have said to make me a better decision maker. I just needed time to grow up.
Ironically, I grew up when I listened to me, the child. The youngest me remembers skipping to Kindergarten on a beautiful sunny spring day wearing the dress covered with lavender flowers and pale green leaves that my mom made for me. I remember the unmasked and unfiltered joy that I felt just being in that moment.
When I was about 10 years old, my dad asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said, “I don’t know. I just want to make people happy.”
He said, “Awww, that’s no kind of job.”
Little did either he or I know at the time, but I grew up to be a professional juggler and children’s entertainer. My career is to make people happy.
And now, I write. I write for the joy of expressing what I see and hear and feel. And I write children’s stories to share that joy. I not only get to tell a story that I hope will be fabled or funny, inspiring or adventurous, but to facilitate a relationship between a child and a someone who loves them enough to share that moment. How cool is that?
So what will you do? Write a letter to your younger self or let your younger self write to you?