Things have been pretty boring and samey around here lately. Not much exciting happens in the middle of the week. I thought it might be a good time for a flashback.
I recall having a fairly happy childhood. I have a few vague memories of elementary school. I remember thinking myself terribly clever and capable. At this point I had no idea how abysmal I was at any and all sports. I even believed I could be popular and liked by my peers. I remember loving books my entire life. I have distinct memories of taking books to the park to read and being lost for hours in daydreams about what I’d do if I were the heroine in one of these amazing, romantic adventures. Even then I was a weird kid.
I remember playing with all the kids in the neighborhood after school, and there seemed to be no shortage of them. We ran around the neighborhood going from one house to another, asking if so-and-so could play. When it was time to go home, my mother would just shout out the front door for us to come back in if we were playing in another kid’s yard. It seems like I had so much freedom.
Of course, I recall spending most of my time at the dance studio. By the time I was in 3rd grade, I was eating dinner out of a lunch box between dance classes a couple times a week. At this point, I was even having my hula classes in the back studio of the same building where I took ballet and tap. I must have gone at least three evenings a week. I don’t recall ever wanting to be anywhere else.
Embarrassing videos may possibly still exist of me dancing wildly around my living room, leaping off the couch and singing at the top of my lungs to all of my favorite pop albums. I confess that this habit continued much longer than is probably appropriate. In fact, I could still be spotted sometimes dancing around my living room by anybody who might happen to be spying on me. But it wasn’t just one song back then. Oh no. I would turn the music up loud and dance and sing to the ENTIRE album. I remember getting caught dancing in my room when I had mono in the fourth grade. I got in so much trouble because I was supposed to be resting.
In truth, I was an extremely awkward girl with stringy blonde hair. But during the first ten years of my life, I was invincible. I believed I could do or become anything. My parents instilled a basic sense of integrity in me, and even though my views have changed slightly on a couple of issues since my naive childhood, that basic sense of equality has helped to sustain me and make me the person I am today. If only I had been able to hold on to some of that indomitable confidence. Childhood is such a fascinating mystery. It’s hard to believe that was actually me.