What did you love to do when you were a kid? Sometimes we were most authentic when we played as kids and anything was possible.
I know a primary school teacher who, as a little girl, lined up her dolls to teach them. Sometimes it was the alphabet or a song, sometimes it was something she had learnt at school that day and sometimes she read them a story. Today, she is an excellent teacher.
I have been talking with a woman in her twenties who has recently left her hospitality job. She told me she doesn’t know what she wants to do – she needs some time to think.
‘What did you love to do when you were a kid?’ I asked her.
‘Oh, I want to study horticulture – I want to be outside,’ she answered. She knew.
I’ve been reading one of my old journals from when I was 11, as my protagonist is 12 and I’m thinking about what’s important to 11 and 12 year-old girls. I’m equally admiring/cringing at my eleven-year-old self – so perceptive for a kid yet so ignorant at the same time. And the writing style – well, let’s not go there!
Here are a few diary highlights –
- I handed in my project called My hobby – writing stories. I used my silver and green ‘special’ texta for the bubble writing heading.
- There’s also a folded piece of paper in the back of the diary. One side is a page from one of Dad’s chemistry papers on a water treatment plant – the other has notes for a short story called, ‘You, me and the dead.’ I must have been going through a goth stage perhaps! The handwriting looks older – maybe I was 13 or 14?
- On the 10th November, 1984, my friend Jacinta and I made a chocolate cake in Mum’s butterfly cake tin. I have that tin now! And I still love baking and eating chocolate cake.
- A couple of days later, I reread Anne of Avonlea by L. M. Montgomery and wished I could be a famous author like her.
- I listed some of my favourite words, like ‘shimmering.’ In a recent writing course, Kate Forsyth reminded us that words with ‘m’ sound comforting and nourishing – home, mum, womb …
- I described my room like this – My windows are opened but my curtains are closed. When the wind blows they are pressing themselves against the windows like old women gasping with horror.
Three and a half decades later, I’m still writing. Are you still doing what you loved as a kid?