Have you ever watched a child? I mean really watched them–play, run around, interact with other children. They are so free, so unafraid. I had an opportunity to do so recently and what I saw gave me incredible joy. I was staying at a family oriented indoor water park and there were kids everywhere. I mean everywhere. There was this little boy who would fill up a bucket of water and dump it on people’s heads as they walked underneath across a bridge; it was hilarious. Even when the people saw him, and knew it was coming all they could do was laugh. There was this little girl, running around hitting the water that was spurting from the ground. She must have hit the stream of water 100 times before getting tired and moving on to the next adventure. It warmed my heart, and got me thinking. As I sat there with my magazines, plotting my next home improvement extravaganza I began to think about my own childhood. Was I like that, did I run around unafraid? I don’t really know, but I don’t think so.
I remember when I was little, I couldn’t wait to grow up. I was an independent, stubborn kid [3 going on 30, my Grandpa used to say]. Looking back on it now I miss being a child, mainly because I miss the time when I should have felt free. Before the job, before the bills, before I knew that life could sometimes be painful. As I’ve grown up there’s been a transition (as there naturally is) away from the comforts that childhood brings but after watching these kids experience true joy I felt a yearning to properly nurture that little girl that still lives inside; when my 8 year old self cries out for love, what do I do?
Truth is, I’m a big kid at heart. After watching these kids play unafraid I jumped in the inner tube and experienced something I haven’t felt in quite some time freedom. It doesn’t mean that all my bills suddenly disappeared [I wish] but rather for those few hours I was able to laugh and reconnect with my inner child. Ask her what she wanted to do, and do it.
I’ve been a tap dancer ever since I was 3 years old but by the time I got to college I thought there were more important things to focus on and dancing took the back seat. In my adult years I’ve taken a class here and there but never committed to anything. As I slowly start to discover who Rebecca is and what she likes to do taking a tap class tops the list. Others on my list include taking a cooking class (which has already been scheduled!), getting massages (yes, plural), and getting back into arts and crafts. Now I know what you’re probably thinking, kids don’t cook and get massages. True, but connecting with my inner child is in essence developing a relationship with myself.
Sometimes all I want to do is lay in bed after a long day and watch a movie, eat some junk food, and go to sleep. Nurturing the relationship with myself is about cutting myself some slack, saying the world will not end if I don’t do X tonight. I’m not much for procrastination, but I’ve found that sometimes it can be beneficial. If my head isn’t in the right place then any work I produce won’t be as through. Allowing myself/yourself to relax can be a challenge so start small. Michael craft store is one of my favorite places to go [I’ve literally spent hours there] because that’s when my inner child can run free.
Discovering who I am has been like peeling back the layers of an onion; every time I think this must be it boom life reveals to me another layer. I’ve always believed life begins at the end of your comfort zone so challenge yourself to be uncomfortable and live life unafraid.