All I want to know is, when you check in with your inner child, the one who never judged you, told you that you couldn’t do it, or looked in the mirror and said, “can’t”, is she happy?
Three years ago, I came to find that I answered that question with a ‘no’ too many days in a row.
She is picking apples off a tree filled with the fruit. My mother continues to pick apples while, inside the van, I am panicked and desperately trying to figure out how to get to the front seat, to get to the brakes and thus prevent our seemingly inevitable watery demise.
Then I wake up, my heart racing and my sheets soaked in sweat.
Without any reason to believe it couldn’t be true, or any obstacles to harden her yet, she dreamed what later seemed the impossible dream. How many childhood artists grew up to start selling medical products over the phone to buyers whose face they’d never seen? At what point do we stop being children on the playground, asking each other questions that aren’t loaded, playing games that aren’t for keeps, without any hidden agendas other than, would you like to climb on the jungle gym and play spider man right here and right now?
Except it’s not the impossible dream, because if your mind can conceive of it, then it can be made so. It was the very thing he’d spend hours on without any concept of ‘why’ he was doing it. How many little magicians with little top hats thought, “there’s no way I can survive doing that! How many people honestly, genuinely, dreamed of becoming a tech consultant from age six? I don’t mean to say that anyone who didn’t follow that childhood dream failed, or that there’s any reason not to take pride in the work that you pour your soul into.
My younger brother and I are in the back seat of our family’s van, parked on a steep hill.
At the base of the hill is a lake or some other body of water. My mother has stepped out of the car and she is at the top of the hill.
It scared the hell out of me, but I finally decided to listen to little 6-year-old Kristin, and now I realize something beautiful: When you come to find that the inner child was right all along, when you start to listen to the gentle, playful voice within rather than the criticisms from outside, it’ll all start to make sense.
All of the heartbreaks, the slammed doors, the closed chapters and the painful goodbyes will fall in line and the past will be past, because it all contributed to advancing you right to where you are now, and ‘now’ will finally feel right.