“Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.”
― Samuel Johnson, The Rambler
I stumbled upon a new blog that intrigued me – Duane’s World. His writing is simple and he has changed his world by eradicating all negativity and perfectionism from his life. The post that really caught my attention was “What would 10-year-old Duane think?” No I’m not copying Duane but think about it, how often do we think of our 10-year-old selves and what he/she would think of our adult selves.
I haven’t thought of 10-year-old Jo in forever! My 10-year-old self – here it goes – if you met 10-year-old Jo you would think she was this quiet, beautiful little girl. Jo tended to be a little shy but in truth Jo was carrying many burdens. Jo was an outdoorsy, curious girl who wanted to spend her days running through fields, climbing trees, catching spiders and finding different bugs to add to her bug terrarium. Jo hated it when people fussed over her, she hated having her hair brushed and she hated wearing skirts. Jo played with barbie but barbie was always on an outdoor adventure and wearing clothes that logically fit the lifestyle – no pretty dresses for barbie. Jo’s day usually started by rummaging through her drawers to find anything to wear and much to her mother’s horror Jo would be very under dressed as she ran out the front door as clothes just interfered with her curious nature. Winters were cold and harsh, but Jo was outside all the same. No bugs to catch, but forts and igloos to build, snow angels to make and skating at the community outdoor rink.
At home Jo’s life was difficult – full of chaos and sadness and Jo’s mom didn’t embrace her inquisitive nature. Instead Jo’s mom tried to break her curious spirit by showing distaste for Jo’s interest in everything from bugs, clothes, messy hair and her close relationship with her father, her mom’s ex-husband. Not all bad as Jo learned to stand up for what she believed in and taught her the importance of always being yourself.
What would 10-year-old Jo think of 50-year-old Jo? 10-year-old Jo would like that she still lives her life in the outdoors every chance she gets, she would like that she married someone who loves all of her, good and bad, she would like that she has two boys and no princess girls, she would love that she plays hockey and she would like that she still likes spiders and snakes. What 10-year-old Jo would not like about 50-year-old Jo – she would hate all of the skirts and pretty clothes in her closet, she would think that she covers herself up with too many clothing items, she would hate all her shoes as you only need one pair, she would hate that she is tied down to a full-time job, she would hate her lack of freedom because of commitments and she would hate her house because housework is just a waste of time.
Truth be told – 50-year-old Jo is still very much like 10-year-old Jo and she still struggles to not let outside forces interfere with who she is. Her mother is no longer around to show her distaste in her choices but there are plenty of other people to replace her. The little Jo in her ignores them all and to combat the negative forces she heads outdoors where she is accepted as a whole as she blends into the accepting and curious forces of nature.