I've given this a lot of thought. And here's what I have. Something triggered this in me the other day.
When I was young, I would run willy-nilly and not care where I ended up. I would laugh long and loud with my head thrown back and ear-splitting shrieks. Snorting was acceptable. I would say "Hi" to strangers and smile at everyone. My socks wouldn't match, and I wouldn't care. Chocolate was an acceptable meal at any given time. I wore the gaudiest dollar store jewelry with pride. Coloring a paper might take a whole day, and I loved the way it looked.
But somewhere around twelve, I changed. I no longer showed my emotions. For some reason, I started to hide them. My body changed. My feelings changed. I was confused. And I didn't like being uncomfortable in my own body. Some people became mean. Some people would make promises they didn't keep. I wanted to trust but was afraid. This lasted until I was thirty.
At around thirty, I changed again. The laughter came back. I painted my toenails each a different color. I got two tattoos. I would dye my hair to match my mood. I wore what I wanted to. I held open doors for strangers and thanked everyone for every small kindness. I began to appreciate my differentness instead of wearing it like an invisible stigma.
People still confuse me. But I'm well with myself. Those eighteen years between twelve and thirty are lost. And I just thank God that I came back to the child I thought I lost all those years ago. So that is my thought for the future.
Don't just embrace the inner child. Show them the sunlight. Let them pick out your clothes.
And for God's sake...let them laugh.
8 months ago