So before I get started on this topic, let me start off by being completely candid.
I had major writers block this week. Through this difficult time being quarantined, it was pretty hard for me to be inspired by anything. So the past few days I’ve taken a break for myself. I started watching old Disney movies that would distract me from my anxiety and take me back into nostalgia. The other night I watched The Parent Trap (yes, the one with Lindsay Lohan.) It just so happens to my favorite movie of all time… don’t judge me. I noticed that there’s a lot of things in that movie that draw a parallel to my life now… but that’s a subject for another day.
Tonight, since I started feeling like myself again, I figured I’d give this another go with another classic movie that I love, “Disney’s “The Kid.” All of a sudden, I had a burst of inspiration and it dawned on me. I have a topic that I’ve ALWAYS wanted to discuss. What would I do if my younger self came knocking on my door?
As a child, seeing this movie always made me laugh. Seeing it as an adult has a total different affect of me. While watching the movie now all I can think about is how I’d actually love to spend some time with younger myself. I remember so many amazing things from childhood. I also remember so many painful things as well. It would feel so good just to hug her and tell her, don’t worry kid, the future will be just fine. Will it be everything she thought? Definitely not. Will I disappoint her a little, maybe at first but I’d make sure to tell her all about the wonderful things I learned along the way. I always thought I’d have a picture perfect life. I also always thought I’d be married with kids by now. Which just hasn’t been in the cards for me but I’m not mad about it. There’s a saying that I always live by “be the woman you needed as a girl.” I think that’s also a reason why I work with so many children. I had an overall wonderful childhood, but I’ve also experienced some pain. I’ve experienced parental divorce, child abuse (not by a parent), emotional abuse, and both parents battling cancer and heart conditions at young ages.
Despite all of that, I became who I am today. I never used any of my hardships as an excuse to be less of the person I’ve always wanted to be. I’d tell her all the stories that we’ve faced head on, and explain to her that no matter what she’s facing it will get better. I would tell her that I’m still chasing the dream, OUR DREAM. That I will not give up and I am excited for the what’s next, because life is never about the destination.. it’s the journey that gets you there. I’d tell her that I didn’t get to actually be the superhero that she hoped she would be. I got to be better. I didn’t get to wear the cape everyday from her comic books or the dresses from her dress up trunk or even live in a castle but I got to give that reality to children. I got to make them believe that magic does exist. No, I don’t have a PhD or even a full college degree because I scarified when my parents were sick and went to work. However, it lead to so many other wonderful things, like working in the medical field very young and learning later on that I’d rather be a teacher. Which I am now, for special needs preschoolers.
I’d tell her that somewhere in between, I started a business doing something she loves so much , playing dress up. I’d describe to her all the smiles I’ve seen and the beautiful children I have met along the way. I’d tell her that not all of our friends will be who we think they are, but don’t give up because you’re going to meet so many other extraordinary people who are worth your time. I’d explain to her that even though she’s tough as nails, to never ever stop being kind. I’d tell her that outer beauty is something nice to have but it’s really who are on the inside that truly matters. I’d tell her that she has a special gift of feeling other people’s pain and will constantly try to see it from their point of view. I’d explain that being an empathetic person has its hardships and sometimes feel like a curse but it’s truly our biggest blessing.
I would love to sit with her over a slice of pizza and mozzarella sticks (our favorite food.) I’d love to tell her that those comic books she’s hides from the other kids will play a major part in her life later on. Id tell her it’s okay to be different and it like all the other kids, it will make her special. That all her unnecessary comic book knowledge will in fact be helpful in life, even more than algebra! I’d tell her that it’s cool for a girl to like superheroes AND princesses. I’d warn her that there will be bumps ahead. I’d also delicately explain that we will lose some people we deeply love (especially that man pictured above). I would not spare details because I would want her to face them herself, in the exact same fashion. I’d explain to her that she’ll have her heart broken until she figures out what she wants and won’t settle for less. I’ll tell her that love will always be the thing that fuels her even if it’s not perfect or easy to find. Most of all I’d tell her that I wouldn’t change a thing and that her life will be everything she makes of it. I’d thank her for her visit and tell her how much I can’t wait to l see what our journey is like to our future self.
Now I ask you guys, what would you tell your younger self?