“I’d give all the wealth that years have piled, the slow result of life’s decay, To be once more a little child for one bright summer day.” — Lewis Carroll
I was busy eating my weight in chocolate when my dad announced that he’d uncovered some old video tapes from many moons ago.
“Great”, I thought! An opportunity to watch my brother and I be boisterous children and laugh at our little ways.
What ended up happening, however, was more than I’d anticipated.
The child I saw looking back at me was so full of life, wonder and excitement. And honestly? I was struck by her presence.
That young child was, in fact, me. It really was. Once.
But there was something a little different…
This child had no inhibitions. No pretence. No anything but love, laughter and light.
It made me wonder…
When was the last time I truly danced FREELY, without a care in the world about my bloated stomach, bad moves, dirty feet or messy hair?
When did I honestly last enjoy dinner just because it was DINNER, without thinking about its nutritional content or feeling any clean-eating-induced-guilt?
When was the last time I laughed all night, in a world of mindfulness and wholeness and wonder, without a single care towards tomorrow?
When did I last take a nap just because I wanted a goddamn nap, without waking up feeling at least a little guilty about the lack of ‘productivity’?
When, when, when?
Then. When I was in single figures.
How tragic is that?
Watching myself hop, skip, dance and play the drums like a feral little creature around the room to loud Brazilian music, I had a realisation.
That child staring back at me was me, yes. But she also IS me.
The same rules apply to you. It may sound crazy, but one of the most reflective things we can do is watch our old childhood movies and connect with who we once were.
Time changes us. Society changes us. Exterior influences change us. Expectations change us.
But it’s still us.
Because, deep down, the essence of that child, with her wonder and lust for life, really is all of us.
The next time you feel far away from yourself, I encourage you to watch your old childhood videos. Or look at a photo of your childhood self, being unapologetically herself.
That, my friend, is you. And it’s time to go home.
It’s time to go home.