I needed to write today. So, I looked up some creative writing questions. This was the question I picked: When you were a child, how did you imagine your adult self?
I’m not exactly sure why I wrote why I did, or why the words came out on the page as they did. But, this is what I wrote.
As a child, I felt like I had infinite possibilities! I could be a Princess one minute, and a jungle explorer the next. I could imagine being in a different world, or a different time, all within the confines of a book. The simplicity of picking up a novel and transporting myself into a different time and space was a kind of magic. When I read a book, the words changed, and no longer just stayed on the page. They leaped out into my heart and mind, and instead of words on a page, they were movies that played in my head. The characters were real, and I was smack dab in the middle of the most amazing places a girl could be. I could do and be anything I ever wanted.
Books were my reality, and in them, I could be myself.
Reality was nothing like this. Reality was off-color, and lonely. A sort of reddish-brown hue clouds my memories. I remember hours upon hours playing alone. And when I think back about playing with other children, I sometimes wonder if they were real or if I made them up in my head. I was that child. I could barely bring myself to talk to many people, or make many friends. I was a little strange. A little sad. A little different.
I would dream of my older self, my grown-up self. I imagined I would be a Prima Ballerina and dance in New York! I imagined I would travel to wild destinations all over the world! I imagined I would be someone who touched the hearts and minds of people across the globe. I would have so many friends; I would always be with someone! It’s funny how little girl dreams, many times, don’t come true.
Somewhere in time, a little voice that was vaguely familiar started to say, “You need to be sensible. These dreams will never amount to anything. You need to be a teacher. You don’t have that kind of potential. You need to have smaller dreams. You will never be a ballerina. You will never be an actress. You will never… Don’t dream so big.”
So, my dreams became smaller. My world became smaller. I became smaller.
I never travelled the world. I never made an impact, because I never went anywhere past the state I was in.
I read a book recently that said I should START. Dream big! Achieve amazing things!
And yet… I am in my small life, unsure of how to stand back up on my feet. I am unsure how to achieve those dreams. I am so afraid to dream.
My children are my heart and my soul. I tell them, “You can be whatever you want to be. You can be an astronaut! You can be a ballerina! You can be a firefighter! You can be anything! You need to work hard in school and study and achieve your goals, and if you do that, you can be anything and more.” They are smart. They are growing in wisdom. They are kind. They will go further than I ever did. And they can accomplish anything.
That is my dream now… that they never belittle themselves to the point where they are so small they can’t reach out and touch the stars. That their dreams are mighty and brave, and that they never fear them.