Imagine, as I often have since my Outlander obsession began, you could travel through time.
Maybe not as far away as Scotland, or so far back in time as the 17th century, but just to the time when you were just a little you.
If that little person appeared in front of you today, staring wide-eyed at the tall, adult-looking human you’ve become, what would you say to them? While cleaning the other day I found a photo of myself, all brushed blonde bunchy pigtails and fash-uned up in a pair of too-big heels and on-trend giant sunglasses. It made me wonder, would you be proud of me little one?
Would I be able to say to you, look, I did it. Every morning I wake up and it’s just as you imagined.
For most of us, this is unlikely. Especially if you wanted to be a ballerina and it turned out your co-ordination talent level was best suited to pursuits that go in a straight line, like running. Or a Princess, and it turned out all the eligible Princes got snapped up because your mum neglected to send you to an elite school in Europe, where all the right royal kind of networking happens.
Also, life probably happened. Challenges you never could have imagined.
But I have no doubt you did your best, and also that we have time to make our smaller selves proud. Because, actually, they are still with us, deep down inside.
How can we integrate our little-human dreams into our days. So if one day our mini version stumbles on a time machine and travels into the future to meet us, we don’t burst into tears and say “I’m sorry, this is not how it was meant to be for you.”
*Be a Princess anyway – be proud of how you interact with other people. When they are far less than royal, have all the dignity anyway, respond with kindness.
*Remind yourself of the dreams – maybe the dreams you had as a little girl have changed. It’s more than likely. But how about weaving a bit of that imagination – that certainty that the possibilities of life were all laid out in front of you – into the dreams you have now. Like the part where you had absolutely no doubt you would achieve your vision. I’m pretty sure you told people “I’m going to be a pilot/dancer/actress” not “If I can get the right work/life balance and a supportive partner and get into my Master’s course, I would potentially like to be a ….. “. You just owned it.
*Don’t put up with it – if your friend Kaylee stole your Barbie and chopped its hair off, you would tell her in no uncertain terms that wasn’t on, then proceed to tell everyone else that would listen how and why that was not ok. You would not think about how this was going to affect the dynamic of the friendship group, or impact the work environment at school because Kaylee was class caption. So when you are wronged, speak out. Just this time using your new vocabulary of adult language and your inside voice.
*Dress up, go out and be your dang self – you used to love it when you got the chance to choose your own clothes, right? Tutu and sneakers, dinosaur T-shirt and glitter stockings and hot pink at every opportunity. Every now and again it’s nice to nod to your on-trend pieces, then dig down deep into the wardrobe and pull out something spectacular. Something fit for a Princess.
Something to make your Little You proud.
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