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What I Would Tell My Younger Self (a series)



 

Part One


When I was in grade four, we were working on book reports. The assignment involved answering questions about the book the whole class read. That was fine. But I remembered asking the teacher if I could write my own book. If I could hand that in too. I remember the look on my teacher’s face, perhaps unsure of what to make of this.

 

I don’t know if she recognized the seriousness in little me’s determination, in her desire to create this, what it meant. My teacher thought I was being cheeky. Funny. Sharing an over-ambitiousness she needed to reel in. She dismissed my request.


Stick to the assignment, Christy.


Stay within the expectations, the rules, the box, is what I heard.


And so I did. (And didn't.) I went home and finished that book report and then spent the rest of the night crafting a book of my own. Maybe it was over-ambitiousness. Probably. But it was more than that. I wrote the story on lined paper, pages I taped together. I drew illustrations and made a cover for it. It was a story about a mysterious house in the woods that appeared in the pathway of unsuspecting, adventuring kids, holding secrets and gems and treasure, and fun things like that. Probably a ghost or two from all the Are You Afraid of the Dark we consumed back then. This house disappeared when the kids tried to return to it and find it again. Of course. How fun.

 

I wish I still had this book I created. I wish I had all that it represented. I didn’t hand it in with my book report, no. I think I hid it in my room, with my diaries and notebooks and other stories, and from then on, stopped sharing about my desire to create my own book. (Until my teenage years, but that's another story.) I truly don’t know where the idea ever came from in the first place. I didn't know anyone who wrote books or loved creative writing like I did. I just arrived in this life with a complete love for storytelling without any reason why, keeping this love tamed and quiet for too many years. Maybe it’s tied to being born a channel, a direct connection to so many stories just waiting to flow through. From my earliest memories, I can recall lying in bed at night and stories just flooding my mind. Some were mine, most weren’t. And I had this need to tell them all. A lot of nights I would go to bed early just to let them play out.

 

So what would I tell my younger self? What would I tell this little me who could read and craft language from a very early age, compelled by the stories around her? I would tell her that just because your beautiful out-of-the-box ideas were not taken seriously way back in fourth grade, does not mean they're not brilliant ideas, with you for a reason. Don't hide them away. It’s okay to let this side of you be seen and heard, because, my sweet girl, you’re going to create that book for real. You’re going to create many many books and it’s all going to be even better than you ever imagined.


This is your soul's work. It's been with you all along. You had a feeling back then and that same feeling is with you today.


Thinking back to my little self always realigns me with what I came here to do. There's so much we can learn from the child version of who we used to be. Because, in so many ways, they're still very much us.


-Christy






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