Remembering Ourselves in Childhood
Can you believe it’s almost May? Weee, where has the year gone. I hope that wherever you are, the weather is as beautiful as it is here in Orem, Utah. After I publish this post, I think I’ll take myself on a picnic.
Handprint Soul is about becoming our best selves, whether this means peeling away the layers of insecurity, expectations, and anxiety that cover up our true selves or adding on to what you already have, trying on different hats to discover parts of yourself you never knew existed. Today’s topic falls into the idea of peeling.
Who were you as a child? Were you the same person you are today, or someone completely different? How did you spend your time? How did you feel about yourself? What did you want to be when you grew up?
I believe that as children, we’re completely ourselves and as we grow we’re shaped by our environment. We learn the expectations of society; how we should look and act, what should interest us, how the world “works” and how we need to change to be accepted. By middle school, most of us are shadows of the children we once were. By adulthood, we usually forget what it felt like to be a child at all.
So, who were you as a child?
I think about my childhood a lot. My mother is an avid photographer and scrapbooker so I’m fortunate enough to have my entire life documented through photos, journaling and every school project from preschool to high school graduation. A lot of the stories and ideas I come up with these days were planted in my childhood and germinated throughout my teenage years. When I recall my childhood, I remember that I spent my time either indoors making art, writing stories, reading, listening to music or outdoors playing with animals, riding my bike, climbing trees, and walking around making up stories. I only felt insecure around other kids. I was unapologetically goofy and wildly creative. I didn’t have a lot of friends, but at the time I don’t think I needed a lot. I wanted to be a writer and an artist when I grew up. I wanted to travel the world.
Who am I today?
After years of trying to squish myself into someone else’s mold, learn what the world expected of me and trying “be a grown-up”, I find that I’m starting to come full circle. When I’m not doing “grown-up stuff” like a day job and cleaning, I spend my time either inside reading, writing, making art or outside running, walking, playing with animals and just appreciating the outdoors. I spend time with my husband. I need more social interaction than I did as a child, but that’s good. I’m unapologetically goofy and wildly creative. I don’t let anyone make me feel insecure. I want to be a professional writer and artist. I want to travel the world.
Essentially, I’m the same person, and I feel silly for wasting all that time trying to change myself, but I guess that’s how we learn that our essence doesn’t need to change. Learning, growing and evolving makes us better people, but we don’t want to change who we really are.
If you have photos or journals from your childhood, spend some time with them. If you have access to children, spend time with them too. By remembering who you were as a child, you’ll remember who you are. Do whatever you need to do to be that person. Set boundaries. Work on your self-esteem and insecurities. Take care of yourself.
Best wishes on your journey to being your best self.