Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Thinking Back to Our 9 Year Old Selves

I just finished reading an article in More magazine called “An Unbridled Woman” by Holly Morris, which compelled my dusty brain cells to write this morning.  The article hit a soft target in my belly that I have been struggling to make sense of for the past few years- the struggle with what my life is now and the yearning for past elements of my childhood life. 
Holly describes beautifully in the article about her reoccurring dreams/memory of her nine year old self- “riding bareback through an Illinois cornfield, my legs gripping my horse with thoughtless confidence, our long manes streaming behind us in the humid Midwestern air as we playfully blaze a tunnel through head-high stalks of corn.”

This great imagery and writing just pulled on my heart strings.  I grew up in the Midwest also, and although riding bareback thru the cornfields never happened…I can, however, smell the musty odor of the ripe/dry cornstalk heads and the sound of wind rifling above me as I walk thru the row of corn, closed off by the world.  I can see our lab Digger bouncing up and down thru tall alfalfa grass in the field next to me as I walked down a gravel road pondering what life laid ahead for me after college.   
The years go by in a flash, and let’s face it…not as many years are ahead of me… as in back of me.
This statement by Harvard researcher, Emily Hancock, was quoted in the article as saying (referring to the magical age of nine:  “women come fully into their own and become truly themselves only when they recapture the girl they’d been in the first place.”
Sharon Lerner is then quoted: “That age was about being unclouded, about knowing the right thing to do without thinking about it.”
How wonderful.
I have to admit, I don’t remember much of those early years.  But I loved nature and being by myself on the farm with the animals. There was peace in my world among them…even though the human world was far from that.
And isn’t that what I am looking for now?  Peace and contentment. 
Unfortunately it is much harder to achieve nowadays, since at age nine, someone else was paying the bills, worrying about tax payments and food and clothing and the like.

If we had only known how blissful that ignorance of ‘having to make a living and paying the bills and financial worries’ was back then.

And yet…looking back at how and where you grew up, what your interests are as a child/teen does come back to haunt you in later years.  I see it in most of the eyes and hearts of many people I know who are in their late 40’s and 50’s plus now. 

Part of it may be how vastly different the world is now - with computers, the internet, smart phones, and technology in general being so in your face every second, and so essential for most jobs now. 
You just want a simpler time. Would we miss it?  It definitely would take getting used to, and it does not mean that you have to live without all of it.   But you don't have to live without it if you choose not too.  How wonderful that the computer can be a source of income for people who live “out in the sticks”.  Ebay and Etsy has been a Godsend for some…starting your own website and business online…being able to connect so easily from the sticks.  Independence.  You can choose as to how involved you will want to be with technology as with any advancement.

So what about you out there in cyber space?  Are you seeing life coming around full circle?  Are hobbies and interests from your youth reemerging?  Are you longing for the familiarity of what was around you in your childhood?  Have you strayed off the path you intended to go on?  Did you ever really choose a path, or did life choose it for you?  What’s next?  What path are you choosing to take next in life?  Does the fear factor play a large role? 

Wouldn’t it be nice if someone could take a look in a crystal ball and tell you…”yes, take this path now and you will be happy and secure.”
It sure would be wonderful, but not going to happen.
So...what's next?

                                                                                 copyright 2013 Stepka