Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Childhood (09/03/09)
By Katie Sherrill
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You asked me the other day what I was like when I was little. You’d think that was an easy question to answer. On the surface I guess it is, but I’ve been thinking about that question a lot these last few days.
It’s all a matter of perspective really. You can ask ten different witnesses at the scene of an accident what happened and you’d get ten different stories. They may all be telling the truth, but still didn’t see the same thing.
Some might have been distracted by what they were doing and so they only saw bits and pieces. Maybe others could only see part of the accident because their view was obstructed. While others could have been immediately effected emotionally by what they saw, so that they weren’t able to see the entire accident with and unbiased point of view.
They will all honestly explain how the accident occurred or who was at fault, but it will be slanted by their perspectives. They won’t be able to help it. It’s all in their point of view and the truth as they understand; it is really more of an interpretation of the facts.
The same is true when you asked me what I was like when I was little. If you were to ask me when I was ten years old, I probably wouldn’t have of stopped running around the neighborhood, or the soccer field long enough to really think about the question and so I’d answer how great life was, maybe boring at times because my friends weren’t home or it wasn’t game day, but I did what I liked and that’s what mattered.
If you asked me at sixteen, I’m sure that my teenage angst would obstruct my vision just enough that I would not clearly see all the details from my childhood. I’d think that I had it so easy when I was younger and I’d forget about the fear that was growing inside. I wouldn’t be able to stop obsessing about the present “breakup” I was experiencing to realize that the sadness and loss I was feeling were directly linked to the insecurities that started when I was so young and that they were now growing and gaining speed.
As a young college student I would long for the days of my childhood. I would remember the innocence and protection my younger years provided. I would also wish for some do-overs. I’d want to go back and visit my younger self so that I could encourage her and teach her that she was, “fearfully and wonderfully made”. I’d probably get emotional as I remembered how I felt insignificant even then. I would realize how I hid my insecurities in athletics. I would tell you that my childhood was scary and I rarely felt that I measured up.
I want to protect you from all the fears I had. I know I can’t do that though. To protect you from all the hurts of the world would not be fair to you. You have to experience bad in order to understand good. I want to teach you to expect the bad and to learn from it, but never to fear it. It will teach you to persevere. That’s a perspective I didn’t have.
It’s all a matter of perspective. My perspective now is all about you. I don’t care what I did or didn’t do or how my insecurities made me who I am today. I’ll take it all and use it to mold your childhood into the best one I can give you. Now I see the world through your eyes and that’s a perspective that I like.
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