The fear of the unknown
One thing that we often forget about childhood is the unknown and the fear of it that filled us when we didn’t know what job we would have, who we would become, if we would find a husband, if we would live far away from our parents and if we would cry a lot. Each one of us had a very different childhood, but I can only talk about mine. Even if a lot of people would love to tell themselves to be strong and that everything would change, I, personally, would only tell myself to enjoy being young and not to worry too much.
I remember, around 9 years old, my brother asked me what singer would still be popular in 15 years and who would be my best friend. I answered Bon Jovi and a girl I barely remember. He laughed and told me I was wrong, that it would be either Paul McCartney or Michael Jackson and that I would not talk to this girl anymore. About Bon Jovi, he wasn't entirely right! But about my friend… he definitely was. If I could turn back time, I would certainly tell myself not to worry about school fights, all the “I’m not your friend anymore” and the lonely moments of Elementary school and High school. A few decades later, these stories are long forgotten and I have learned the art letting go, as my self-esteem has developed with me.
I am one of these lucky ones who have been lucky in their bad luck or vice versa. I was born in an amazing family with extraordinary grandparents, aunts, cousins and uncles who make your life worth living. If I had known back then that there would be no tunnel between my house and my dad’s, that my dad would become sick and that my mom would die while I was in High school, I would have enjoyed it more. If I had known that I would grow old and away from them all, I would have spent more time with my family. It is important to enjoy spending time with a good family. Time flies and if that is good news for those who had a horrendous childhood, it wasn’t for me.
I understood early how important school was and I was a good student, but if I could go back in time, I would tell the child me that my efforts would eventually pay, despite the fact that bullies were laughing at me and did not seem to care much about their grades. I would tell myself: “Because you study now, a lot of things will be easier later. You can think about boys later”. In fact, if I could, I would tell myself that I would be a thousand versions of me before I reach the age of 20 and the later I meet a boy, the more likely it will be that we fit together.
Sadness goes away
I also remember crying myself to sleep a lot when I was young and I remember thinking that life was much harder than expected. I don’t know what made me so sad but I would definitely tell myself that we get less emotional later on and that with responsibilities come freedom and that freedom can be used to build a beautiful life. I would also say that being able to change my point of view is worth more in life than winning the lottery.
That’s what I would tell the child that I was. I can imagine my young self looking at me, smiling politely, thinking “what does she want?” and waiting patiently until I finish my weird story so I could play Barbie and Masters of the Universe again. What about you? What would you tell your young self?