How touchy-feely woo-woo does this title sound?
I'm taking a class called Writing for Children, and my professor asked us to write a short letter to a child (real or imagined), or to simply write a letter to our inner child. In it, we were supposed to focus on three truths we would tell a child about life and the world. And I so wish I could go back to my six-year-old self and speak them to myself every single day.
Dear Inner Child,
You’re learning a lot these days; a bright, exciting world full of colors and ideas and stories surrounds you, and there’s a lot to take in. And even though we’re both young, relatively speaking, we both still have much to learn in life. I’m watching you develop and blossom, slowly but surely, and though I do see you making great strides, I just want to remind you of a couple of important truths.
First, avoid the game of comparisons. I see you on Instagram, eyeing creatives and artists, equal parts awe and jealousy. I’ve watched you in classes, reading someone else’s story and deeply yearning to communicate the way that another woman does. But you know what? You are uniquely you. You have a story to tell, words to say, and beauty to create that is absolutely and uniquely yours. No one else can tell a story or draw a picture quite the way you can. You may not be communicating an altogether unique message—because who is, really?—but the way you say it might be a new way for the world to hear it. It's all been said before, but never by you.
Next, figure out what you love and embrace it. I know you think sometimes that because you studied education for four and a half years that you should be a teacher. Stop with the shoulds. In your own experience, that sucked more life out of you than it breathed in. Writing and creating seem to be life giving to you, so why not pursue those things? You can love people and impact lives through writing and creating beautiful things, too. Don’t let any guilt get in the way. Teaching opportunities will always be there if and when you want to return.
I will conclude by reminding you that this world is big; go out and learn from others and always work to expand your perspective. Leave comparison and jealousy at the door, and let yourself learn from everyone you meet. The more you know others, the more you can see from their point of view, and the better you can love the world. And the more truth you can humbly glean from those who have walked before you, the wiser you will be.