I am officially done with the part of moving that has required me to go through my entire lifetime of boxes (my mother, bless her heart, kept EVERYTHING) and decide what to keep. I have never gone through my baby books, boxes, etc until now as a 37 year old and to say it has been an eye opening process would be an understatement. Many tears have been shed as I've had to face memories tied to things I've "stuffed away" in my mothers basement over the years. However, that part will be another blog for another day.
Surprisingly, the most amazing experience for me has been looking through my childhood things, specifically age 4-9. Like so many of us, I have lost touch with that little child, and it has been so precious to catch up with her and remember what I was like. I had a really tender moment listening to a music box while sifting through an old shoe box of "treasures." A snail shell, a flower pressed in glass, a little glass dog, a little leather camel, a shiny brass horse, a random earing, and rocks that I had painted to be my pets. I haven't seen or thought about those little treasures for so long. Sweet memories of my childhood have been uncovered. A time when treasures were ordinary things deemed magical and kept secret under the bed. A time before wallets, work, cars, men... back when a song from a music box could heal tears and having an adventure in the back yard was more exciting than going anywhere.
As you would think, I've been extremely nostalgic during this process. Today I started thinking about my current life and I wondered if the little girl I used to be would be proud of who I am. So naturally, I started making a list of things I believe she would approve of.
Here are 10 things that I believe my 4-9 year old self would be really happy about today and things I never really grew out of.
1. Scratch and sniff stickers that were made in the early 80's never die. Yes, my old sticker books made it into the future in tact. What a relief! As did my Rainbow Bright doll and 20 beautiful My Little Ponies.
2. I loved drawing fish under the sea, and I would put wings on them and call them angel fish. I also loved drawing princesses and angels. I think my younger self would be happy to know that I still love the ocean, (and will be living near it) angels, goddesses, and royalty.
3. I wanted to be a mother and I wrote in my journals about things I wanted to do with my children. Minus the part about taking them to space, I think I've accomplished much of how I wanted to raise them.
4. I also wanted to be a model and a photographer. Check!
5. Whenever I would get mad, I would write in my journal. I also loved writing poems, stories, and songs. That has never stopped, and despite notebooks of practice penmanship, my handwriting never improved.
6. I LOVED my animals. I was devastated when my childhood puppy died and I drew pictures of her for years afterwards. I spoke to the trees, bees, flowers, and was very comfortable in nature and I love that I still am.
7. I told so many stories! No wonder no one in my family ever took me serious! I would just make up stuff all the time, most of it comical- I just really wanted to make people laugh.
8. It was okay that I was the only white American in my Kindergarten class. We lived in Egypt and there were children of all backgrounds. I never noticed that I was different, I just kept being myself.
9. I LOVED pizza and actually drew pictures and wrote about how much I loved it. For anyone who knows my nine year old that will be funny.
10. I was precious. Sweet, angelic, innocent, funny, and loved being the center of attention. I was a girlie girl who matched my knee socks to my blouses and loved flowers and jewelry. I loved fashion, shoes, and posing for the camera (yes that young!). But I also didn't mind getting dirty fishing with my dad, swimming in the ocean, riding horses, and climbing trees. It seems that I've always believed that there is a time and a place for all of it.
It seems that one thing we all worry about at some point is if the life we are living right now would make our younger selves proud. While I have made countless mistakes along the way, and have felt doses of shame and regret, the little girl who smiles her silly smile at me in pictures is more than forgiving. I think she would LOVE my closet, my hair, and she would love what I'm into. Seeing ourselves through our inner child's eyes is really amazing. For me, it's been healing. I wrote about my mother for a school project in the first grade and it said, "My mother is really nice. She is very pretty. She makes everything around her beautiful. I hope I can be like her some day." Check!