I was going through some old photos, and was struck by a few things. Firstly, that I essentially haven’t changed that much. I am older for sure, but the ‘me’ that was there at 7 is still there today.
My journey from seven to 55 has been exactly that a journey – lots of ups and downs, twists and turns and even if I could – I can’t change anything. What I can do is remember that the essentially positive seven-year-old is still inside and by remembering my inner child I can keep myself young and positive. I started to think of messages to my inner child.
My messages to my inner child are:
- Keep creative. Remember the joy of bits and pieces and how they all go together to create something special. Choose whatever colour crayon you want and colour with abandon.
- Don’t listen to the critics. There is always someone who feels that they know better and are happy to correct you. Don’t let anyone dampen your enthusiasm.
- Everything in moderation. In our house we were given a small package of sweets on a Friday night, and a comic on a Thursday. We looked forward to this with a huge amount of expectation, and enjoyed it with delight. A taste of sweetness is enough you don’t need the super-size bags.
- Friendship is important. As a child I loved spending time with my friends. Sleepovers, after school visits and the exciting weekends. As I got older it was discos and shopping, but the constant was friendship. As an adult we get busy, too busy.
- Enjoy play. We forget the abandon of doing something for no particular purpose. Running along the beach with my dress tucked into my knickers! The sunshine filtering down and adding to my freckles. I still want to do this (and I’ll tell you a secret I still do).
- Accept who you are. I never quite loved my freckles (I do now though). At seven year’s old I had never heard of obesity, body image or cellulite. I was just me. I am still me.
- Embrace dressing up. I loved dressing up, shoes, hats, loads of accessories and a good bit of sparkle. I even had a wig in my dressing up box. It is nice to remember how it feels when we make a bit of an effort and even nicer when we receive a compliment.
- Live for today. At seven, we do not think of the future, we live for the day, and perhaps plan for a treat or an outing. It is not that I advocate never planning for the future, but today is all we have promised.
- Be prepared. Now, don’t laugh! When I was little I always kept a handbag, and in it a spare pair of knickers (pants). In those days our underwear was held up by elastic and those elastics were known to snap. Little acts of preparation go a long way.
What message would you give to your inner child. She is still there, no matter what your age. By remembering little me, I hope to give that childish joy alive forever.
Thank you for reading.