When did I lose it?

That ability to think like a child. And by that I mean, when did overthinking replace barely thinking at all? Everything always seemed fine to me as a kid. No matter the situation. I never thought about the outcomes. I just simply lived in the moments. Nothing mattered. Nothing seemed of any real value…well, I guess except my beanie baby collection. Life had a way of fixing itself in times of trouble. And time felt like forever. Sunburns and sleepy eyes would fade away. Pruny hands and soaked clothes from running back into the pool after my parents told me to get out felt like a game of dare. One I was ready to play every single time. Too much food caused bellyaches but I would never let that memory stick long enough when it came time to do it all over again. The car skidded in circles once on an icy day but we kept on driving and I was okay with that. As a kid, you feel invincible.

Now everything counts. I guess I should have waved longer after our last family reunion. Who knew it might be the last time someone would be on the receiving end. Rain storms while driving make my heart beat a little faster. I hold my breath until we are safely back home. I look at everything and everyone that comes in contact with my life and it’s all so fragile. I fear something will break. That I will break if  things aren’t in the correct place.

I guess what I am wondering is when did I make the decision to let every other opinion affect me? What day was it that I told myself that what mattered more was the thoughts of another rather than my own?

I would go to school in the most ridiculous outfits. I would eat an icecream in public like it was just the two of us. I painted my friends nails behind the cubbies even after the teacher told me not to. I didn’t care.

I also remember feeling beautiful as a kid with my frizzy hair, crooked teeth and bit of a tummy. Never once do I recall feeling silly or unattractive as I did things that I loved to do.

Now, my perfect vision of myself has been shattered and replaced with doubts. Am I too fat? Am I not tall enough? There’s a gap in my teeth… I’ll never smile with them showing in a photo again. Should I do this? Am I allowed to love that? I know I am happy but…. What will?

I can’t remember the last time I didn’t second guess myself. And that shouldn’t be the case. I wish I could find that 8 year old me and talk to her again. Find out what makes her so different from this new me.



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