Letter to Little Me

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Letter to Little Me
Day 2 of the open letter challenge: a letter to my childhood self

Dear Childhood Self,

Did you notice how I crossed out the word child? I thought you’d appreciate the gesture. I know you like to think of yourself as a grown up, but trust me, one day you’re going to wish you could just be a kid again.

You see, the truth is, I’ve been procrastinating writing this letter. In fact, I sat down to write this to you about a week ago, and I made every excuse I could think of. In the past hour, I’ve checked my email, Facebook stalked random people, and created an Etsy account (because I knew I couldn’t use Pinterest as a valid excuse) all so I wouldn’t have to write you this letter. (And I know you don’t know what any of that stuff is, but one day you will: beware).

I didn’t know what to say to you. I couldn’t figure out which age to write to, what advice I could possibly give you. But then I realized that I don’t have to. You’re already much smarter than me, and honestly you probably have much more to teach me about life than any smidgen of advice I could attempt to give you. And since the challenge is to write to my childhood years, age need not be specified. Besides, you’re probably too busy creating your own adventures to bother with something as trivial as age anyway.

And that’s what I miss about you.

You see the world as one giant adventure. Each day, you seek to learn something new about your environment, about yourself, and about life. The world has not yet been broken down into bad and good. It simply is, and no matter what, you continue to believe it is beautiful.

You feel things deeply. Your emotions are expressed vividly with no possible way to misunderstand or ignore. And maybe that makes you different. The world around you would much rather you stop feeling, to pretend you don’t have any emotions at all other than fine-just-fine-thank-you. But you don’t try to be something you’re not. And that’s hard, I know. Take your feelings to the page, the pages you reserve for your dreams, the stories you see so vividly in your head. Write it down. Write it out. Create. You won’t regret it, I promise.

But I don’t need to tell you that, do I? You already do. You’ve been writing down your feelings since you learned how to write, and finger-painting them on a page before that. You’re expressive and unafraid. You don’t believe in boundaries. To you, rules are meant to be broken. Always.

You’re a rebel and a leader. You push yourself and others to limits that were previously unknown. Grown ups think it’s cute, but to you there is nothing cute about learning the perfect choreography for the school talent show competition. Who cares if you’re the only one in gymnastics? Everyone is going to be doing backflips by the end of the week. OR ELSE.

You don’t take no for an answer, and you don’t bother with excuses. You know that anything is possible if you set your mind to it, and you strive to get others to see the same. I mean, we’re all human right? Why shouldn’t everyone be able to accomplish anything they wanted? We all have brains, don’t we?

I can see you nodding your head right now, probably frustrated. Or maybe not. Maybe I’m not making any sense at all. Maybe I’m just wasting your time, time that could be better spent exploring the world, chasing your dreams, living your life unafraid.

I envy you, little one. I envy your spirit. I envy your unwavering faith in yourself, in others, in the world. You know the true meaning of life, and you don’t even know it. You’re simply living, exactly the way you should be because you don’t know yet that there is any other way to live. You’re still a child, whether you want to believe it or not. Expectations are very small for you now, but they won’t be forever. And I could tell you when they’ll be coming, I could try to warn you of their weight, but I know you won’t believe me.

So don’t worry about the future. Stay present. Stay you. I’m saying that for me because I know I don’t need to tell you how to live your life. You already know, and you already do. 

But in case you ever forget (and you will, sadly), keep this letter with you. Let it remind you of this time when you already have everything that matters figured out. Pull it out when you start to see the world in black and white, and let it open yourself back up to this beautiful world of color.

Trust me, you’ll thank me later.

I’ll see you in the future, little one. Stay strong.

Love,


Kayla L. Mathys

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