The girl inside me
You know how sometimes you are thinking about one thing and then you find yourself wandering down paths far from the original topic? Maybe it’s just me … I was thinking about how once in awhile Tom would call me “girl” and how that was probably the only time I liked the label. But then I started thinking how at fifty probably no one would ever think of me as a girl or call me that. And then I started thinking about things that I shared with my ten year old self.
So the first thing that came to mind was my love of reading. I’m not sure when exactly I became obsessed with reading, but I remember distinctly having thoughts about not wanting to play with friends because I wanted to read. I also remember taking a book with me while trying to climb trees because I just didn’t want to stop reading. This past Friday I had a serious conversation in my head about whether I was going to go socialize with my friends or stay home and read. And on Monday I changed the sheets on my bed with a book open on the night stand so I could read a few lines every time I got close. That’s pretty darn similar behavior! Ten year old me and today me are pretty identical in that way.
What else? I always loved to have long conversations with my mom… And I’m still a big fan. My love of chocolate was well formed as a girl… my preference for Hershey’s special dark chocolate and Baskin Robbins chocolate fudge ice cream definitely started when I was young (though my favorite chocolate candy brands have changed). I still have all the freckles that I acquired in childhood and the silly cowlicks that make my hair so aggravating. Ten year old me lives on in a lot of ways.
Fortunately experience has wrought some changes. As a girl I was very fond of rules and making sure everyone followed them. I spent six months sitting out at recess because I couldn’t play kickball with my class without getting angry at everyone who was “cheating”! I like to think I’m much better at letting others figure out how they want to live without my interference. And hopefully I see that there are a lot of different rules out there. It doesn’t always have to be three strikes and you’re out. It could be four or five strikes instead!
As a child I felt shy. I was jealous of my little brother who always seemed to make a bunch of friends instantly no matter where we went. As an adult I think I’m a little better at being friendly and reaching out to others. Apart from some obvious opposites, I think the child I was has gradually grown into the woman I am… Life experience has taught things that ten year old me couldn’t imagine. In many ways we aren’t much alike. But hopefully the girl I was would be happy to see how we turned out!