I asked some of my followers to answer some questions about their relationship with their inner child. Over the next few weeks I'll be sharing the responses.
❤ three words to describe yourself as a child
Imaginative, humorous, introverted
❤ As a child did you have an object you carried around that gave you security?
When I was a kid I had an all-black stuffed cat I called “Stailey”. I am an only child so stuffed animals provided me with a sense of having company. I particularly loved Stailey because I got her for my birthday from a close childhood friend and she was a perfect medium-size to tag along with me like the animal companions Disney princesses have. I pretended we were on all sorts of adventures in forests and mountains. When I was five I got head lice & my mom thought you were supposed to wash and dry all stuffed animals. When Stailey emerged from the dryer, her fur was all stiff and wirey, and I started to cry because it really felt like I lost a best friend. I’m sure all my loneliness and imagination was tied up with this make-believe pet, and I suddenly felt very alone.
❤ How do you create a feeling of inner security and emotional comfort now?
I love story-telling in all its forms - writing, performing, reading, watching — doing it professionally is my biggest dream and it certainly stems from my experiences as a child!
❤ Describe your current self in three words
Magical dreamy determined
❤ How do relate to your inner child ?
I find so much inspiration for life from observing and working with kids and animals. I still love crafts and creating art pieces. I am figuring out how to bring my connection to my inner child to a lucrative career path. I went to an adult sized playground once in Chicago and after leaving I got a rush of a feeling I hadn’t felt since childhood - this rush of endorphins because you just got all this exercise but you didn’t even realize because you were having so much fun climbing around everything!
❤ Do you have any special objects now that create or represent an emotional experience for you?
I have old childhood books that I keep around and give me a comforting feeling that just because I’m an “adult”, I don’t need to only have books of a “certain caliber”. I have found so much value in material geared for children. I also have the bases of my old sky dancers on my book shelves because…. I mean, they were banned at one point, and the designs are beautiful! Think I still have a bop-it ! I love having little toys and objects that are kawaii in corners of bookshelves or desks.
❤ What would you tell your inner child if you could?
I have shared this story with people and surprisingly to me, not everyone had this talk with themselves. When I was a kid I promised myself I would never lose a sense of being a kid. There was this joy and excitement and wonder I felt and it would get shut down by adults who were fixated on being “grown up”. To me that felt boring, stifling, and depressing. So now as an adult, I would tell myself that I am on the right path, I can have confidence in my beliefs, and to get to a specialist and fast because you have some serious ADHD that needs to get diagnosed pronto! But truly if I knew I had significant ADHD I think that could have made things easier for myself. But I am grateful for my journey and it makes me, me.
❤ Describe yourself as a child in three words Talkative, mischievous, (weirdly) maternal ❤ As a child did you have an object you carried around that gave you security? My favorite object as a child was that plush mouse that my mom hand-knitted for me. It’s kind of funny too because people used to tell me I looked like a mouse and had a mousey face, I wonder if kids looking like their childhood toys is an actual thing? I would take it with me all the time, to school, to sleep, I’d usually chew on its limbs so it was in pretty bad shape but my mom always made sure to sew everything back into place and hand wash it when I wasn’t looking so it would never look sad or worn out. I named it Souricette, which means ‘little mouse’ in French and is also one of the nicknames my dad gave me. I remember though being in kindergarten and hearing the word ‘comforter’ for the first time. As I didn’t know what it meant, the other kids told me it was something you can hold close to you that makes you feel safe and loved when you’re sad, and when they asked about mine I said « My comforter is my mommy ». ❤ How do you create a feeling of inner security and emotional comfort now? My love language is physical touch, so I guess that’s the biggest thing for me even now. Whenever I need comforting, I turn to people’s embrace and can quite literally be hugged back into shape. Over the last few years though, I’ve been trying to be less emotionally dependent on other people’s presence and touch, and have been on a journey to provide myself with the physical affection I crave. I hug myself to sleep, and I like the feeling of laying my hands over my own skin, treating myself like my own lover. ❤ Describe your current self in three words Curious, loving, anxious ❤ How do relate to your inner child? I truly believe I’m the exact same inside, I’ve just been broken by life in certain aspects but everything I do, I do for seven-year-old, cynical-and-often-lonely me. People who don’t know me well often comment on how naive and easily amazed I seem, adding to the fact that I look way younger than my actual age, so I assume I appear as quite childlike on the surface, although it’s just an appearance thing, and it doesn’t extend to the way I speak or think. In any case, I’m extremely in touch with my inner child and the concept of an inner child as a whole, particularly so since it was the main focus of the thesis I wrote in college, which led me to exploring the notion even more. Some things never changed for me : loving to play dress-up, finding beauty and amazement in the smallest things, always reaching out to grab an abandoned sparkly thing on the street ; all of that feeding into my own form of escapism.
❤ Do you have any special objects now that create or represent an emotional experience for you? I still love plush toys I just try to not go overboard with them. For some reason, with time that emotional transfer has shifted from toys and such to jewelry, especially given the fact that I now make it for somewhat of a living, and I’ve been gifted some by my family members. I probably have over a hundred pieces in my jewelry stash, but the most special ones to my eyes are the ones I wear almost every day. The first one is a vintage heart- shaped locket on a silver chain that my grandmother got me, inside of which I cut out a glued a picture of her because she’s imy favorite person in the world. The second one is a gold medal of the Virgin Mary that my godmother gifted me as a baby for my christening. It was an Italian family heirloom that the women of her family would inherit from generation to generation, and since she never had kids she kept it for me instead. It has my name and date of birth engraved on the back. And finally, the third special object from my collection is a necklace I made myself from all my favorite leftover beads, and a pendant saying Je T’aime (‘I love you’). I made it a few months back planning to give it to a girl who ended up breaking my heart before I got the chance to, so I decided it was a sign of fate and now I’m keeping it until I meet my soulmate, to be able to give her and tell the story of how I’ve been waiting for this moment forever :-) ❤ What would you tell your inner child if you could? Listen to your heart. Having even just one friend is enough. When you’re older, don’t let solitude make you forget the difference between love and lust. Don’t cry too much about being different and keep writing your weird little stories.