Anyone who knows me knows that I lived a very sheltered life. My weekdays revolved around school, homework, Tuesday night, Wednesday night and Friday night church. My weekends revolved around cartoons and more church. I wasn’t allowed to go to ballgames of any sort as a child and I wasn’t allowed to participate in extracurricular activities. Part of the reason for this is because my parents were older and my siblings were older. They didn’t have the desire or the nerve to take me those things (fear of racism was the guidepost in my home), so I did a lot of reading and writing. I wish, more than anything that I had had the opportunity to do more. I’ve been singing in front of any audience (just church folks) since I was a little girl. No one at my school knew of my gift until I was in 7th grade and that discovery was made purely by accident. No one knew I could sing. After the “discovery”, I was onstage A LOT after that and no only sang at my Junior and Senior proms, but I sang for the seniors when I was a sophomore.
Still, that sheltered lifestyle was embedded in me for many years to come and unfortunately led to me shying away from doing things in college. I wasn’t a party girl, but I went to a few. I wish I had had a little more fun. I should have pledged but I was so focused on getting out of school and earning my own money, I rushed through. Unfortunately, I rushed through a lot of things.
Fast forward to my late 40s, and that’s where you’ll find the woman that tells the younger me, “You’ll be fine, little girl.” Not very much has come easy in my life. Nothing worth having ever will. The difference now is that I’m equipped to fight the fights and I’m smart enough to shut my mouth when I need to. The little girl in me is still alive and well. She still shows up, sometimes at the most inopportune times, but never to a point that she presents an issue. Seeing things through youthful eyes is sometimes necessary to live. We can’t allow the weathered, battered woman in us to guide the way because that chick just may be a little too cynical to do us justice.
Regardless of how much damage has been done, know that you’ll be fine. You will. Let the little girl live but the let the grown woman thrive.