I read this question a little while ago on my twitter feed. It was a photo of half a boy’s face tied to half of a man’s face; implying that the boy grew up to be that man. The question was sprawled out on either ends of the photo and I paused for a while after having seen it. I guess I thought that it was a really good question to ask oneself. What would the child that I once was think about me now? Would she be disappointed? Would she be annoyed? Or would she be accepting and forgiving as she realised that life never really turns out the way that you had planned? After asking myself these questions I knew deep down that the initial reaction of the girl me would have kicked me up the backside and might scream her lungs out. The girl me would be pissed and she would want answers.
When I was little I was a pain in the ass. My parents no doubt wished that they could lock me in the basement at times but unfortunately for them in the mid to late 80’s it was starting to be deemed unacceptable to beat your kids and shove them in a basement. So I tormented them. I wasn’t completely horrid. Honest! I was just very carefree and liked to dream. I can remember there was this tree that grew to the side of our house in New York that I would climb and just sit there for hours. I would watch and observe everything. The cars passing by, the families out and about and the general life of a normal suburban neighbourhood in Long Island, New York. I truly loved it there and when life gets a little tough nowadays, I look back fondly and know that at least my childhood was that of kings. My mom was fucking psychotic back then but when it came to playing with the kids on my block (there were 20 of them) she would let me play all day, come and eat dinner, and off I was back out there until 9 at night. Summer was my favourite time of year there because it wouldn’t get dark until late and all of us kids would stay out to play basketball, roller hockey, two hand touch football, and any other game we could think of. It would be bliss for any kid to experience such a childhood.
Even though I might have annoyed my parents they still raised me with manners and kindness and I would always abide by those when we were in public. I actually loved going to school because I was everyone’s friend. I was cool with the popular kids and I was always nice to the ones who were not the chosen ones. I remember one time my mom wouldn’t let me sleep over my best friend’s house on a school night which I had already said yes. So I had to go back and tell my friend that I couldn’t come. I could see her get mad but all she did was walk away with another friend. As she decended the stairs I poked my head over the railing and heard her say ‘God, she is such a Bitch.’ And even though I thought that that was a harsh thing to say (I never swore back then, I mean ever) I forgave her in my mind right then and there and never confronted her. I was always nice to people, always seeing the good in everything. And I always went above and beyond the call of duty. I was not only fiercely loyal, I never used to say mean things about people. Because even back then I knew their secerts at home. I knew that people were the way they were because of things that they couldn’t control. That their home life might not have been that of fairytales and unicorns. So I knew that it was always better to take it, move on and always be loving and caring.
When it came to me and my ideas of what I would be like when I grew up all I knew was that I was going to be married at 24 and have 2 or 3 kids by 27. I went from wanting to be a vet, a lawyer, to finally wanting to be a teacher. And my passion was ice skating. I thought I would be able to do that forever. What I didn’t know was that photography and films played a vital role throughout my life due to my grandpa (who I called Dedo) and my mother (who was writing screenplays). And that was when I fell in love with the idea of being on a film set or a music video set. Writing started to take a more dominant role in my life and this was surprising because I was in the slow class for writing. I would always mix up the b’s and the d’s. So boy would turn into doy and that’s when my Mom would yell at me. She was an english theatre major after all. I would like to think that it was because my first language was Greek and that’s why I was slightly fucked up. But I practiced, I bettered myself and I always wanted to try my hardest. I was never the brightest or the cleverest. But I had a zest for life. And I knew that I was going to be something wonderful someday.
If that little girl who thought she could accomplish anything through kindness and dedication saw me now I think a tiny tear would trickle down her face. It’s not that I’ve spent these past years with regret. It’s because I wasn’t able to get to where I wanted to get to. To be a creative person and be in a job that is highly uncreative slowly starts to chip away the spark in you. I think she would see a woman who became broken. A woman who still has a tiny bit of hope left but that it might not be enough. She would see a meaner woman. A woman who has become slightly closed off, who doesn’t give herself to others fully and whose kindness has diminished throughout the years. She would see loss and confusion in my eyes. She would see envy and jealousy. She would see my open wounds left by those that I gave my soul and heart to. She would see pain and loneliness and she would see sadness. But even with all that she would see a woman who has become strong. Who has fought to get back on the right path. A path to finding happiness. And she would see a tiny flicker of light still shinning in the depths of my eyes. There is still fire left in me.
I think little me would have a mix of emotions if she met her older self. But I think she would see that even though I might have lost my drive and way for a few years, she would know that it was only a phase. She would be proud that I haven’t lost all hope. That I haven’t closed myself off completely and that kindness does come out when people deserve it.
Yes, things that I thought would happen or who I would caring on being have changed. My outline of achievements have altered and faltered. My goals when I turned a certain age have not come into fruition. But life has happened and people and circumstance change the course and outlook you once might have had. People can hurt your ideas, your dreams and your wanting to love and be kind to others. But I think little me wouldn’t be completely disappointed after she delved deep into my soul. I think her initial reaction would be harsh and brash. Yet after the initial shock wore off, she would see that life is what has made me. That I have become more focused again and she would know that all hope is not lost. She would pat me on my back with a cheeky little smile and say you are exactly who you were meant to be. She would stare deep into my eyes that look darker than hers and she would come real close to my face to inspect every crack and wrinkle that has formed throughout the years of stress. She would take a deep breathe and finally say ‘ I like you. You didn’t turn out so bad. Remember, you are me and I know we can do anything.’