Sometimes, I think about who I was as a child and who I am now and feel as though we are two completely separate people. I think about the qualities that I had when I was 10 and the qualities that I have now that I am 21 and ponder upon the circumstances and experiences that have made us so different.
When I was 10, I knew very little of anxiety and the sort of sadness that makes you feel as though you're drowning. I knew nothing of being uprooted and shipped off to another country. I knew nothing about Crohn's Disease or blepharitis or alopecia or the scary medical terminology that I've had to become so familiar with. I knew nothing of heartbreak or death or loss.
I wonder if I am looking at my childhood the only way one can when they have little to hold on to - as though each moment was beautiful and filled with joy and forever, forever out of reach. I think that perhaps, sometimes, I may be idolizing it.
Had I not left my home country of Wales, I wouldn't have had to deal with self-harm and depression. Had I not had to deal with anxiety, perhaps I wouldn't have triggered my invisible Crohn's out of its comfortable remission. Had I not, had I not…
But, I know that the person I am now is not the person that I would have become had I forever stayed in that cozy little home.
I would be weaker in some ways, less complete in others. I would be unaware of what it feels like to be stranded in Switzerland or in love with a Mancunian girl. I think, just like the others that stayed in Wales, I would be living a comfortable little life with a little man in a little home, never really experiencing anything full. I don't know who that woman would be now, but I know that she would be unrecognizable.
I value kindness and morality less than I did when I was a child, and I miss the purity and wholesomeness of never really understanding pain. I think that I now appreciate the important things less than I used to because now, I have so much darkness inside of me.
And I do have a darkness inside of me. I don't know where she came from, but I know that she is new.
I lived in Canada last year, and on a mission to better myself, I asked people what my worst qualities were so that I could work on them. I had things like "self-centered" and "impulsive" and "secretive" pop up, and I know for a fact that those qualities really aren't who I am inside, much less who I want to be.
I had a good childhood, and I was a good kid. Maybe a little too sensitive for my own good, but my priorities made a lot more sense. I feel like I'm losing touch with her, losing touch with myself, and I need to put that right.
Long story short, I want to bring more of my 10 year old self into who I am now. I want to succeed in life for her, to show her who we can become - but I have to revive her a bit more, first.