What Would My Eight-Year-Old Self Say?

I loved being eight. In fact, if I had to choose a favourite age from childhood, eight would win every time. Why? Well, my biggest concerns ranged from what were The Famous Five going to get up to next and what dance moves were Emma and I going to put to our new favourite song at the weekend to how many sleeps were there until my Birthday and would Andrew have written me another love letter at school tomorrow? I’m sure there were more pressing concerns (probably not) but life was good and there were certainly no stresses over thigh gaps and other such big issues – yes, I am being ironic.

So, what would my eight-year-old self think of who I have become, having lived her life four times over? Have I wasted it? Have I done enough? It’s certainly a very contemplative question and one that I’ve been drawn back to time and time again recently. Studying a photo of my eight-year-old self sparks so many thoughts. I feel a connection, even through the photo. A connection with myself that feels strange, maternal almost, but not an emotion that I can pinpoint easily. There’s almost an uneasiness, a sadness which I’m not sure of why, but it’s there. It’s not nostalgia, although I do get very nostalgic, this feels different. I want to have done enough for her. I want to have lived and loved enough. I want her approval, almost a thank you, maybe, if that doesn’t sound too self-indulgent.

It really is the biggest motivational kick. A little girl with dreams now in her forties. Did any of them come true? She didn’t become a vet but she did find a career she loved. She didn’t become a dancer in a band but I reckon she could have done if she wanted! She didn’t marry Andrew but she married someone much better. She was lucky, she found happiness but there was sadness along the way and sadly there is still some. Oh to be eight. The world through an eight-year-old’s eyes can be beautiful and of course there are times I wish I could still view it her way, wish I could erase the rubbish – I don’t want her to have felt such emotion – that bit is the rubbish part – and there’s that maternal feeling taking over.

All in all, I think she would be thrilled, amazed and a little bit proud and for that I am grateful. I feel that her life hasn’t been wasted. This isn’t a post to list my achievements or even my mistakes – though I feel that some could make a very entertaining post but not for now – maybe I’ll leave that for a discussion with myself another time – she doesn’t need that aired publicly!

So, the motivational kick? Well, yes, I’ve educated myself, I’ve developed a career, I’ve travelled, I’ve loved, I’ve married and I’ve had three children. But I don’t want the full-stop to be quite there – I want to add to that list. I want that list of achievements, accomplishments, living of life and personal development to keep growing. Age shouldn’t stop the dreams. I’ve written before about becoming a mother and that feeling of it being your children’s time now but that puts the full-stop too soon and I don’t reckon my eight-year-old self would be OK with that. So, in honour of that little girl with big dreams, I’m making sure there is heaps more to add to that list … just saying.

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