For the past two months I have been helping my mom clear out my grandpa’s house and now our own home, my childhood home, as she readies herself for her new adventures out West.
I’ve found pretty hysterical pieces of artwork, toys from all stages of various obsession, and dozens upon dozens of journals.
After spending hours reading dozens upon dozens of Jelly-ink filled pages dated as far back as 1996, I realized how far I’ve fallen from my writing roots.
Granted, I’ve learned how to spell better since my last school-assigned journal, but other than that I’ve failed miserably at expressing myself post-elementary school years. Writing became an assignment, a chore. It wasn’t something I did for me, it was something I did because I had to.
“When I grow up, I want to write.”
“I want to go to UNC, and learn how to become an author from Sarah Dessen.”
“When I graduate from college, I want to visit Tokyo and teach English there.”
Nothing is more stunning than realizing you’ve forgotten all of your childhood and teenage dreams – the dreams that made you happiest, and true – and are worse off for it.
I would like to think that my downfall started with the start of puberty. Once I left elementary school, my priorities shifted. Creativity was put on the back burner for tests, gossip, and make-up. I became resentful of writing for “fun” as I was told what to write about and how to write about it for the next 12 years of academia. So, I stopped.
My artistic expression, my self-improvement goals, my “hitting-it-big-as-a-published-author” sized dreams, stopped.
I stopped. My best “me” stopped.
Six-year-old Caitlin could give a fuck what people thought of her stories, of her horrendous spelling and awkward grammar. She felt all of her feelings, and poured them out onto the page. She documented current events. She described struggles and tragedies. She took the time to re-live her day through her words and pictures, because it was important to her. It made her, be.
Once adulthood hits, we all want to become a kid again. It’s easier, right? More fun, carefree. But, is part of the reason why we want to become a kid again because we realize how brilliant and wise we were? How nonjudgmental we were of ourselves and each other? How we could balance being selfless, yet also be selfish for the sake of what made us the most happy? Being a kid, you do you 24/7.
Screw it. I’m going back to being six.
I can’t please everyone. I can’t be afraid of not getting hired at some job because my blog is too this or that. I gotta do me. I gotta make six-year-old Caitlin proud. I gotta lot to release onto these pages.
So, bite me! I’m going to use my First Amendment rights! If Donald Trump can, well, shit, anyone can!