In defense of the inner child
Posted December 10, 2013on:
Image via Pinterest
I’m sitting here right now watching a snowglobe out my window. It’s amazing to me just what kind of memories snow can conjure.
A dear friend and fellow artist told me that if the snow sticks they were going to have a snowball fight outside a local bar, and it struck me. It’s really good to see “grown-ups” keeping the inner child alive.
The inner child is such a very important idea for me. I was talking to another lovely friend about visualizing your way out of anxious situations – and really what it comes down to is imagination. So soon we forget the hours we spent imagining – even the words themselves, when you look at the phrase and break it down – “make believe” – MAKING your BELIEFS – how could we know then how essential it would be for us to remember?
Litanies of to-do’s, places to rush to, ten million apps to check on. I can still remember long car rides with nothing but myself and what I imagined in my head. No music, no phone, no books (but only because I’d get carsick ;)).
I find that some the most friction I feel in life is when “reality” (insert HUGE air quotes) is forcing me to give up on the inner child. On the endless possibility it represents. When you were a kid, everyone told you – the sky was the limit, you could do anything you put your mind to. You could create worlds to live in and spend hours there. Now, you have to fall in line. Pay the bills. Keep your head down. “Grow up.” Society at large – or even more insidiously, sometimes the closest people around you – try to convince you your dreams are too big, or you should take the safer route, or THEY tried and failed so YOU shouldn’t bother getting hurt too, or, of course – it’s not the time or the place, or you’re too young or too old or too inexperienced or you need this qualification or that qualification or etc. etc. etc. Gatekeepers. On and on, forever. But.
NO ONE should make those decisions for you. But you.
I will never let go of the inner child – because the inner child is me, no separation. What stops us from manifesting things into reality? From dreaming so big we have no idea how it will actually happen, but only that somehow, it will?
When I reached out to a very cool street artist who was hanging his DIY cardboard graffiti paintings around Astoria and the NYC area, I shared my Compass Project poetry sticker project with him and he pointed out this poem on one of the stickers, which I wrote from 5 prompt words a friend gave me:
it’s always on the darkest days
when a sliver
of phantom sunlight
hits my face –
that i am reminded
of all you lose in the strain.
as a child you think: when you’re older
you won’t ever be afraid –
so next time you fear
remember that little boy or girl
and convince yourself, for them, to be brave.
It was so cool to have a reminder like that – and the poem came back and sat in my heart, waving pinwheels and sparklers. I remembered.
THIS was the time we were all waiting for when we were kids. We’re “grown-ups” now! We can do whatever we want, and we won’t be afraid! Or so we thought. So many dreams are left in schoolbooks or toy boxes – in the corners and under blankets where we hid. There’s no reason why we can’t go back and pick them up again. Every moment is a chance – and there is nothing that can change that.
We all have the power to use whatever situation we are born into to learn something, to leave something behind, to create worlds or even just make one person’s day brighter with a small gesture.
When you wake up in the dark, as I did this morning, and the fears start creeping in from the floor and the ceiling, remember – you are the only one who can change that moment. Your perception, your will, your joy or your sorrow. Take steps to live the life you’ve always wanted to.
Make your inner child proud.
Happy Snow Day,
Trajectories: words and music / collab with thingNY – 12/12/13 [Facebook]
“To the one who didn’t fit. To she who bucked authority and challenged the status quo… To the ones whose dreams were crushed by adults whose dreams were crushed… To the child of light who cannot die, even when she’s choking in seven seas of darkness… You are holy. I love you. You are a miracle. Your life, your feelings, your hopes and dreams – they matter. Somebody failed you but you will not fail. Somebody looked in your eyes and saw the sun – blazing – and got scared. Somebody broke your heart but your love remains perfect. Somebody lost their dreams and thought you should too, but you mustn’t.”
Photo via crbustamantejr Instagram
I would LOVE to send a HUGE shout-out to my great friend and fellow journalist Cesar Bustamante who put together a LIVE CALENDAR OF LITERARY EVENTS IN QUEENS! Please check this out – click HERE!
I would also love to thank Underground Books‘ Unlikely Blond blog for reviewing my first book, “Decisions We Make While We Dream”!
“She has been tearing up the New York poetry scene with her dream-like poetry. Audrey Dimola, the young and vivacious character straight out of Long Island City, Queens, is as charismatic personally as she is in her writing. Her collection of poems, Decisions We Make While We Dream, has me entranced. Here, writing this with her book at my side, I am still enshrouded in a mist of wonderment.” You can check it out HERE.
They also published three of my pieces – “winter (reprise),” “V.XII,” and “becoming” on their Kitchen Poet online journal, which you can check out HERE. Much love and gratitude!