Saturday, March 24, 2007

Who We Were

When Chelly asked me to participitate in writing on this weblog, I tried to think of something I actually missed about my childhood. I rarely ever miss anything, at all. But as I've been digging in my memories these last weeks, I realize that I might miss something after all. Not the toys and the birthdays. Not my childhood friends. Not Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman. I miss who I was.

When I was a kid, I could stand in the backyard on a late evening and stare at the night sky in awe. In my memory the moon was huge. Nobody can grasp the astronomical distances of the universe, how far away all those stars are, but just to try was such an amazingly overwhelming experience. It changed my whole perspective, I felt so small. And when I was a kid, I believed things I knew grown-ups didn't believe. Toys being alive and all that. I wanted to become an astronaut. I knew that the odds where against it, but some people - people with the courage to follow their dream - did become astronauts. There was a possibility, a tiny little chance that I would succeed. Why not chase the dream? It would be worth the try.

In my mind, my imagination became my most precious possession. I remember being afraid of losing it, of waking up some day and realizing I'd become totally unimaginative. All grown up. I saw it coming, but that didn't change anything. I did stop believing in fantasies and dreams. I gave up. I became afraid of failure and disappointment. And now, when I imagine what it would be like to float high above the Earth in a spaceship, I can't really feel it anymore - the emptiness of space, the silence, being all alone up there. It's just a picture now. The stars became mere christmas lights on my ceiling.

I don't feel I was naive. Children are open-minded in the broadest sense of the word. Nothing is impossible, beliefs need no proof or probability predictions. Of course it's good that we learned to judge rationally as we grew up. We became skeptics. But in the process, what did we lose? Where is the intensity of my imagination, the courage to believe, the clarity to see things the way they are?

I miss that, more than anything. The little girl I was.

3 comments:

  1. That's exactly it Renee. That's why I started this blog, to find that person I used to be, who I lost touch with. The toys and cartoons etc. are just a part of it, a way of finding out what made that little person tick.

    Great post. I used to lay down in my balcony during the summer nights and stare at the stars for hours and just wonder.

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  2. Me too exactly... perfect post. I wonder if the child 'us' are all out there together, shaking their heads in defeat.
    ;(

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  3. No not in defeat dear Aunt Jaxxx. We're probably out there playing up a storm somewhere.

    Hang in there my friend, it'll get better.

    xoxo

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