Come out and play inner wild child
I held the postcard in my hand for a good minute. Just staring. Trying to make sense of it. It was in no way possible. But… Bizarre. This kid was me! I turned it over. No revealing information. But she was me. I was her. And my mind was blown.
I put my 50 cents on the counter and tucked my postcard of me in my purse. I would send it to my mother. If anyone would get it, it would be the woman who spent my early childhood years trying to rein in the little wild child.
The one who got stitches in her head after a raucous dance session. The one who disappeared from her daycare group only to reappear on the high dive board (right before jumping in to 8 feet of water). The one who you could always find hidden in the foliage of the highest branch of the tallest tree. The one who was always first in the sea and last to come out. The one who always dragged the adults into the front carriage of the whirliest, swirliest roller coaster. Yes. My mother had enough experience with that unruly little imp to see what I was seeing.
She saw it. But the real proof came when my aunt was over for a visit and saw the postcard on a coffee table. “I love that picture of Melis! I’ve never seen it.” Of course she hadn’t because it wasn’t me. Or was it…?
There are a lot of things I have come to despise about aging. Topping the list is the slowing metabolism, accompanied by a proportionately expanding waistline. Boo biology!
But the one thing that I loathe and fear above all else is a disconnection to that fearless, courageous, instinctive wild child. Age has made me cautious. And the worst thing about this cautiousness is that it has led me to make some of my worst life decisions. All in the name of security and safety, common sense and logic, and simply NOT being wild and impulsive.
Intuition and caution aren’t always compatible bedmates. At least not for me. A rough extended spate of ‘rational thinking’ overload led me to dismiss my young, naïve heart and gut in favor of my sensible, wary, ego-driven brain. Again and again. With disastrous results. Let’s just say I would’ve fared better had I handed the controls over to a trained monkey. Because left to my own devices, I was relying on flawed rationale that kept steering me into festering piles of crap.
When I found that postcard I had already embarked on another path. One that would insist I stop questioning my intuitive wisdom. One that would have me use my brain for the things I needed it for like NOT understanding quantum physics and doing my taxes. One that would let my wise heart take the lead when it comes to life, love, passion… matters of the heart. Not the brain.
I got myself that postcard in poster size. Maybe she’s not me. But she is a constant reminder. She embodies the me I want to be. The me I was. The me who’s coming out to play again.