It Was 1979 and This Was What I Wanted!
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
~Neale Donald Walsch
I was nine. Back then I answered to “Chrissy.” My good friends know I refuse to answer to this name now and if they call me by this name, I will rip their eyebrows out one hair at a time. But back then it worked. If I happen to run into an old friend today, I can tell how long they have known me by what they call me. “Chrissy” means I met you in my younger years (birth through high school). “Chris” means I met you as an adult (during or after my college years). In short, and if I am telling the truth, “Chrissy” reminded me of Suzanne Somers character in Three’s Company. You remember, the ditzy blonde. That was not the image I was after so I ditched the name.
My Mom called me this morning to tell me that she was bored and started to look through some old papers and pictures. She found a Christmas list I made in 1979. The list consisted of items that were both practical and made me happy. A baseball bat, because I was a kick-ass softball player in my younger years and it was rare that I did not hit a home run when up to bat. A baton, maybe to be used to hit my brother over the head with when I was being continuously teased, but more than likely because I was an avid dancer back in the day and we used a baton in one of our routines. Any kind of game made the list and although this is not specific, I do remember that I loved to play games with friends and family. I felt connected to the people I loved when we were having fun. Roller skates (the boot kind). This was specific because the metal ones that slipped over your shoes sucked! A diary with a lock. With an older brother and younger sister, a lock was necessary. A clock radio. Even back then, I was uber organized and obsessed with being on time for things. I did not want to miss anything (FOMO big time!). A jewelry box. My love of jewelry has stayed the same. Rings, necklaces, cool earrings…bring it on! And last but not least, a Starflight record. I needed a bit of recollection on this one and then when I looked it up it all came back to me. The Starflight albums were a collection of the “stars” that had hit songs from that year. Classic! I can hear Air Supply now?
It is interesting to reflect on how we were and what we wanted when we were younger. Our wants were so simple. They reflected what we liked to do and in part, what we wanted to become. It made me a little sad looking at this list only because I remembered how much I loved to do some of these things. I don’t dance anymore. It’s not because I don’t want to, but more because as I got older I became afraid of how I would look dancing. What if I looked stupid? My body definitely does not look the same at 51 as it did when I was 21. Silly, I know. But honest. Other than the fear of breaking a hip, I would love to roller skate again. Does anyone even do this anymore? I do still play games, but more the mind kind. Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, card games. What happened to Sorry, Operation, Chutes and Ladders, and Twister?
We tend to lose ourselves in our adult responsibilities. Work, kids, relationships, grocery shopping, aging parents. As we age, we seem to shift our focus from our “wants” to a focus on our “shoulds.” After doing this for many years, we forget who we really are, what we really want, and what brings us joy. We don’t recognize the person in the mirror or the voice in our head anymore. Remembering who we once were may give us a clue as to who we are now. For me, I was a little girl that loved to move, entertain, read, reflect on my day and what I witnessed. I frequently danced it out in my room to amazing music (mainly to Menudo!). I loved to sit on my aunt’s porch with my brother, sister, and cousins, boom box blaring, swinging back and forth on the porch swing. I had big dreams of being on a stage but wasn’t sure what I was doing on that stage…but it didn’t matter back then. I just knew thinking about it made me happy.
Today, I am on a big stage but I am not dancing or roller skating. I am inspiring audiences around the world talking about self-awareness and self-trust. I still love music and have iHeart 80’s playing in the background as I write this. I still have a clock radio in my room. My diary is now called a journal and it sits in my nightstand drawer. It does not have a lock. I now have a grandson who has brought back my love of games. I would give roller skating a shot again if I had the chance. And dancing…well, that I need to work on. Other than the occasional “dancing it out” if I am upset about something, dancing needs to be more in my future.
Childhood desires and wants are real…believe in them again!
Dancing with myself,
“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” ~Abraham Lincoln