It was a simple question that went like this, “Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?”
I thought it was so beautiful and a nourishing piece of food for thought.
So many people in the world are living only a fraction of the life they dreamed possible when they were little.
So many of us have resided ourselves to a life of doing the mundane, living a life of mediocrity and being reliant on the behaviours, attitudes and opinions of other people to determine our own happiness and sense of self-worth.
Over time our idea of what is actually possible in the world and our true potential become skewed after years of conditioning from outside forces.
So, when I saw the tweet, it reminded me of the things I used to love doing when I was a kid; playing dress up – usually like my favourite pop star – and dancing around my living room.
I loved pretending to cook in my imaginary kitchen, which was situated on the top bunk of the bunk bed I shared with my sister. I would then serve my culinary masterpieces to my customers who were seated on the bed below. (You know what, I still think that’s a pretty cool idea for an 8 year old!)
I would secretly re-organise the furniture in the lounge whenever my folks were out and pretend to be the American gymnast Dominique Dawes and I’d flip and roll over the floor and chairs.
I would make up a ton of stories in my head with different characters, write scripts and perform my “hit show” to my mum while she cooked dinner. (No wonder my folks sent me to theatre school).
Needless to say I was a carefree dreamer and was open about expressing it.
Then mum got sick and by the time I was 19 both my parents had passed away.
As you can imagine I had to grow up very fast. And for the next decade of my life I got “serious”.
I became serious about getting my degree, getting a job, working hard, buying my first home.
It was what I felt I had to do.
But I love how the universe conspires on your behalf. And sometimes the most unexpected of events, such as falling pregnant, can offer you an opportunity to reassess your life choices and purpose.
I had no idea how much of an impact having a baby would have on my life.
Ealy has been – and remains to be – the single greatest teacher I’ve ever had.
He teaches me about the beauty of life every single day and his sense of wonder is inspiring.
When I look at him I’m reminded of how fascinating and incredible little people are.
Ealy finds everything enchanting from the crawling ants to the grazing cows.
He marvels at the rain and the sound of wind. And he’s amazed by trees and would chase after butterflies all day long if I’d let him.
He appreciates these precious gifts that the world offers up for free all the time.
And yet, I don’t think I stopped to smell the fresh air once in my 20’s. I was simply “too busy”, too preoccupied and too old.
But now, I do it every single day. I hasten to add that Ealy has inspired me to relight my fire (Cue Take That) for the things I loved doing when I was a kid.
And now I get to do many of them here on the blog and in life. For example, one of the perks of having a toddler is that cartwheels in the park and playing dress up come as standard!
Ealy has reminded me of the little girl that believed in tooth fairies and mermaids because she was also the same little girl who dreamed of the impossible.
This week, this month, this year, I’m hoping that we all remember who we were before the world told us who we ought to be.
Take a trip down the memory lane of your childhood and remember the things that use to bring you joy, make you happy and gave you the feeling of flying high on the wings of life.
Our boundless imaginations are still swirling around inside of us. They are in our hearts and minds our entire lives waiting for permission to soar.
Show the world who you really are. Let your inner child out to play because it’s playtime, baby.
Now, I’d love to hear your thoughts about this. Do feel like your creative, spirited wings have been clipped by society or the people around you? If so, how do you let your inner child out to play?
Share with me in the comments below.
All my love,
Quick point: Please check out the video (above) by Sir Ken Robinson discussing the need to celebrate children’s creativity more in schools. It’s very funny, insightful and well worth a watch.