This piece tore away some cobwebs and I think it ripped a couple of pieces of skin off me...I'm still reeling from where my head went, but I haven't been brave enough to go back and reread it.
The writer of the piece, Jenn Forgie, talks passionately about children and how they cannot be contained, as much as we (adults) try to contain them - they are meant to take space, move their bodies. It is a beautiful, wonderful piece of writing - powerful.
I was shot to the heart when I read this...no one tried to contain me. I thought I was supposed to contain myself...I always felt like my personality, my voice, my passion were too big. My sister, whom I idolized as a child, was not interested in taking up or making space. She seemed to want to be small and I wanted her to pay attention to me. She was happy to read a book, to make pom-pom pets (all the rage back then). I tried to be that (I've got the scars to show it- they helped me learn how to tell my left from my right), I tried to be small.
My exuberance came out in jokes, stories, song, color, art, writing. In the car, on our long road trips to visit far-away relatives, the look in the rear view mirror told me that singing was not going to be tolerated...so I didn't sing...until I got a record player. But then, the songs I liked "carried", so I wasn't supposed to sing to those either...
When I colored things, I liked to use many colors, bright colors. "She likes everything psychedelic and multicolored." I thought that meant it was wrong.
I was born with my own little editor/interpreter/superego that told me to be better, smarter, faster, quieter, calmer. I tried to be small, I tried to dim my little light, but it sometimes shone out of the holes in the covering I chose. I don't think other people knew that I was interpreting their reactions the way I was. I don't remember meanness - just things people say and then how I felt about them.
I am learning how to be myself. It sure takes a long time. And it takes someone speaking a truth that you haven't ever thought of in that particular way.