Friday, March 27, 2009


Beautiful Blisschick (Christine) asks us to enCourage bliss. Her initial post explaining her weekly prompt to enCourage bliss can be found here, with an update here.

This week's assignment is: Tell us what you were like when you were six. Would that little girl be happy with your life now?

Six years old, eh? I remember that as being a fairly lovely time in my life...with a few hiccups. Christine mentions having the FisherPrice record player in her post and I remember having a record player as well but I'm not sure if it was FisherPrice. I had six plastic records to go with mine that were songs from Sesame Street. "I Love Trash" was my favorite, sung by Oscar the Grouch himself! I think I still remember the words.... "I LOVE TRASH! Anything dirty or dingy or dusty...anything ragged or rotten or rusty!...." Oh yes, loved that tune! One record has Kermit the Frog singing "It's not easy being green...." which always made me feel sad.

People have told me that I used to dance all the time, especially for my father. He's said I'd dance and dance, fluttering all around, and then I'd get in such a precarious position he was sure I'd fall down but I'd manage to maneuver myself out of it and dance on. I rarely dreamed of being in the ballet but I do remember dreaming of always dancing. I loved how music could make my body move, that feeling of sparkly magic in my belly flowing out to my limbs, making them jump and sway and wriggle. I still feel that way when the right music comes on. I imagine we all do.

In my younger years, I don't believe I had a good idea of what I wanted to do with my life other than that I wanted to be creative and do something with words. My first grade teacher gave me a storybook about fanciful creatures to entertain me when I was completed with my schoolwork before most everyone else. I loved reading those stories of different worlds and faraway places. I'll admit I was a dreamer and wanted so much for myself and the world. I wanted the magic to be real.

Even back then, I was a peacekeeper. My neighborhood was filled with children and I usually had a few "best" friends. For some reason, those friends never seemed to like each other. I was told it was that they didn't want to share their time with me. That sounds very egotistical but I guess that's how it was. I just wanted everyone to get along so we could all play together. Maybe I should have turned those peacekeeping skills into some type of diplomatic career. It's true that those skills have come in handy on many an occasion.

My parents argued and didn't seem to know how to communicate with each other. Quite often, I felt like I was the adult and they were the children and I had to find a way to bring them together, help them to understand each other...and stop the arguing. That, of course, is not a child's role but it felt like mine. Hmmm, diplomat and psychologist. I'm in neither profession but it's felt like a life-long career.

We want to blame our parents for why we turned out the way we did or why we didn't do something we wanted to or should have. Their words and actions certainly affect us, mold us to some degree. I do believe, however, that we make our own choices and are ultimately responsible for who we become. Once we realize this, we can hopefully break free from any negative thought patterns and cycles we've been caught in due to whatever influence they've had over us. We can receive so many beautiful things from our parents but as they are not perfect, their faults are bound to touch us.

My parents, like their parents, were not free with praise. I'm sure they found it difficult; not because they didn't want to praise us but because it didn't flow naturally from their lips. I was always a high performer in school, labeled as high-potential, and saw the whole world before me. I could do almost anything. There was one particular incident, however, that comes to mind as being a catalyst in the direction my life took after it. (Jumping forward a bit in years...)

The eighth grade students at my school were participating in individual science projects. The top chosen projects would move on to a regional meet which in turn could go on to state. Wanting to be different, I chose a social science project and focused on abuse, child abuse specifically. I did the research, read the horrible stories, and presented a fairly decent project to the judges. I was happy to be chosen as having a top project that would move on to regionals.

Coming home that night, my mother was in the kitchen and dad was sitting in his favorite chair in the living room, watching T.V. I was not one to boast, feeling embarrassed, but I hesitantly and hopefully told my parents the news about my project and its high rating. Their actual words escape me but they were something like, "That's nice," and "Oh, that's great."

I don't know what I was expecting but I guess I hoped for a more enthusiastic response. My spirit plummeted. It wasn't that they didn't care, I just wanted them to care more. My brain took over my injured heart (or maybe it was the other way around) and I decided from that day forward, I just wasn't going to try anymore. What good would it do? It didn't get me the good feelings I so desperately longed for. (It seems like such a silly event to make such a drastic decision.)

The next few years were spent caring more about who was dating whom, and if I did this or that, would that boy like me? What did his look mean? You know, teenage girl stuff. It wasn't until my junior year that I realized I'd wasted so much time and should have been trying and giving life my all; for me, and my future, regardless of what praise or feel good vibes I received from someone else.

As I said before, my parents' actions affected me and my outlook but I can't blame them for my choice to give up. Thank goodness I came to my senses and realized my mistake. As children, we always want our parents' praise and for them to be proud of us, that's just natural. I guess this was a lesson for me on finding my own value in my actions.

Christine asked what we were like at six years old, and would that six year old us be happy with who we are today.

I might not be a dancer or international diplomat, but I shake my thang on the dance floor and in the privacy of my own home; and I still play the peacekeeper between family members, friends and at work. I've learned a few lessons over the years and I try to be a good, polite, forgiving, non-judgmental and accepting person. I enjoy encouraging others and find that I receive so much more in return.

While I think my six-year-old self would tell me to lighten up a little and find my inner child more often, I think she would be happy with the me I am today.

Thank you, Christine, for bringing me back and forward again with enCouraging Bliss!

My objective this week is to find my inner child and ask her out to play.

"Inner Child" painting by Juliette West.


  1. Great stuff! Thanks for playing along. And I love the look of this blog, by the way. :)

    I agree that we cannot blame. I like to make the distinction that we can EXPLAIN perhaps the troubles we have had due to how we were raised or treated but that is in no way an EXCUSE for our own bad behavior.

    I also like to point out to people that having crap parents is somewhat different from having abusive parents. And in this culture, imagine what we would tell a friend who is abused by her husband...but we expect children to tolerate anything. If we valued children more, we would expect more of parents. I will get down off my soap box! :)

  2. I want to clarify for anyone reading this that my parents were good people and they did their best for my siblings and me. They were just not demonstrative and were perhaps unaware that their children needed more verbal and physical affirmation.

    I miss you both more than words can say.

  3. Beautifully written Pamela. Thank you for the beautiful comment my friend. I truly enjoyed this glimpse into your younger self. Have fun when your younger you comes to play!!

  4. Thank you for sharing all this!

    Have a wonderful time playing with your inner child this week! :)

  5. You remember a lot from when you were six! It's all a blur to me... LOL

    Seems to me you have kept all the wonderful aspects of being 6. Feeling bliss at our own achievements should be enough, yet somehow we need external validation. Whether we are 6 or 60. :)

  6. Wouldn't it be great if all of our inner childs could meet on the block and play together....Your description of being the neighborhood peace keeper brought back fond memories of kids and playing don't do that much anymore

  7. Oh By the way...I love that Gustov Klimt painting "Serpents" I am a big fan of all of his work!

  8. I'm glad you commented on my blog so that it could lead me to yours. I look forward to reading more.


Thank you for your comments. They certainly brighten my day!