Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Former Me

I often wonder what it would be like to be five years old again. You know everyday was a good day and your greatest care in the world was when you could go outside and play. I get lost in the warm memories of my childhood; the puppies, the Barbies, and the daily ice cream dates with my mother over summer break. Yet, I am quickly thrust back to my current 26 year- old self, and I wonder if that 5 year- old image of the former me could be found anywhere within me today.

A friend asked me a couple weekend's ago if the 5 year- old version of myself could see me now what would I think? While I answered quickly on the spot" I believe she would be proud," my mind continues to tangle through the cobwebs of my memory as I wonder if that is true. As I am time warped back to my childhood, I just remember I was just so darn happy. I had parents and grandparents who loved me, a warm house, a puppy, and a community of people who believed in my potential. I loved school, learning, and finger painting. I ate macaroni and cheese made with Velveeta, the cheese in a stick, and hot dogs and I didn't worry about my carb intake or the possible carcinogens I was ingesting. I had a group of family and friends who loved me and if I would have told them I wanted to be the next president of the United States, they would have all said you can do it. I guess more than anything, I went to bed at night with the assurance that everything was going to be O.K.

As I wake up in a cold sweat approximately once a week I wonder if my former self has any words of wisdom. My current life is bombarded with concerns about my future and upcoming residency match- where will I be, will I be happy, will I be able to see my family and friends, will I..... and the list goes on and on. I worry about making time to work out and if I will ever know what the word relationship means.

My 5 year- old self loved to laugh. I use to laugh so hard that I would be rolling around on the kitchen linoleum. My 5 year-old self would prescribe a remedy of laughter for any bad day. My former self would want me to sit down and have a cheeseburger with french fries and remember how much I loved Mc Donalds Happy Meals. My former self saw failure as a sign of room for improvement not a catastrophe. Yet, perhaps most of all she would want me to believe that I had something to give, that I could do anything I wanted, and that I deserve happiness.

You know we all have evolved from that sweet 5 year-old into the person we are today. While I wonder what parts of " little me" remain, I know that somewhere deep within the nooks and crannies of my being I will find my former self. I believe that we only get better as we get older, but with it we bring along this adult size baggage. I believe it is up to us to unpack and sort out the things that matter most in life. While I would do anything to recapture my childhood innocence and curiosity, I believe I will just settle with resting my head down tonight and adopting my 5 year-old mantra -that everything will be O. K.