From the desk of Teresa Jordan, Executive Director – I have been keeping a journal to help me get through the pressures of pandemic, and I have a list of prompts for when I can’t think of anything to write. Recently the prompt was: What would your seven-year-old self say about your life as it is now?
Such an interesting question to really lean into, for sure. I can picture my 7-year-old self, long hair, pig tails, polyester pants, in grade two with Mrs. Hutchinson, sharing a bedroom with her sister, loving the Dukes of Hazzard and dreaming of all the wonders of being an adult.
I know first off that my younger self would be bitterly disappointed to find that I am not the bus driver that she was hoping to be. She will also be concerned that her dream outfit of long plaid skirts with knee high-heeled boots is no longer in fashion and perhaps most crushingly she will, like me, not understand why dad had to die so young.
What would she be proud of? What of those childhood wonders that she associated with adulthood am I actually living now? This is where the prompt gets interesting; think for a moment of what your younger self thought about being adult – no rules, stay up late, eat what you want, drive, have a job.
Ask yourself, for what big things that you were anxious to grow? Then pause and think about all you have truly accomplished, all of the unexpected twists and turns and all the happiness.
The other unintended – or perhaps actually planned by the author – outcome of the prompt was a little reflection on what I thought was important when I was seven, and do I make time for it now? Did I ever imagine in my youth that I would be “too busy” to watch Dukes reruns whenever I wanted?
I found this a good exercise to just connect with my younger self, really think about her and her dreams. I will admit that this process made me look at the adult I am now just a little differently. I may not have married Tom Wopat as planned, but I made a lot of great choices that my 7-year-old self would have loved, and that makes me appreciate my getting from there to here a little bit more.