You wake up one day and realize it’s your first day of first grade and everything is new and exciting and you feel so big and bright and cute and special, because your mom told you so.
Next thing you know you’re in the third grade crying in the cloak room because somebody made fun of you. You don’t feel special, not at all.
Then you’re starting the tenth grade and you just know it will all be different this year, you’re coming into your own, you have friends, everything will be okay. And then of course it isn’t, it really isn’t. Your best friend betrays you. Boys tease you. Your body has changed so much you don’t recognize yourself anymore and all you feel is… awkward.
Then comes graduation day, that best day of all days when your whole life truly begins and everything will be great because you’re all grown up and make your own decisions. The world is your oyster.
But there is no pearl.
Living somewhere costs money and you don’t have any, and believe it or not, people don’t really love you coming over to visit and then just moving in. Things are expected of you. Responsibilities. You have to get a job. You have to eat.
So you meet someone and you marry because then, oh boy, then you will really have it all. Someone is going to take care of you and make you happy now.
And they do, until… until they don’t. And then it’s all just too much, you can’t take the fighting, and you finally leave, you get out, because then you’ll be free and happy at long last.
Except you aren’t.
And on and on it goes until one day you awake and look in the mirror and there you are, that little girl—eyes and heart all full of hope now gone—and in her place is an old person, staring back at you.
Your kids, they’re brilliant diamonds but they grew up.
And then one morning as you look into the mirror searching for the little girl inside, you see a spark. “There you are, you stupid girl. Why did you always expect so much of everyone and everything? And all along you were right there.”
“I just wanted love. I just wanted acceptance. I just wanted happy,” the little girl says.
And you say back to her, “The capacity for all of those things was right there inside of you the whole time.”
And you smile.
And you laugh.
And you find that you can choose it all for yourself.
So simple, yet not so easy.