Last week I caught up with an old schoolfriend who I hadn’t seen for 15 years. She had hardly aged a day and we chatted like it had been days, not years, since we last met. And it got me thinking – do we really change that much from the child we used to be? And if we don’t, then maybe revisiting the dreams we had then could be the key to the happiness we seek as adults.
As a child I liked to draw, paint and make things. My favourite subject at school was English and I liked writing stories and funny poems about my friends, and then illustrating them. But my real love was books. I would make tickets for my Ladybird books and line them up on my windowsill, sometimes alphabetically, sometimes in order of colour. When I grew up I didn’t want to be a Nurse or a Ballet Dancer – I wanted to be a Librarian! I pursued my love of books to University where I studied English Literature. But there the trail ended.
Caught up in various dead-end admin jobs I stumbled my way into Marketing, where I was again writing, but only technical instructions, and drawing, but this time using DTP programmes to design wiring circuits and application diagrams. The books, the stories, the poems and the drawings were all tucked away.
That was until 4 years ago when my first child was born. Now the house is again full or story books, crayons and colouring books. The time has come to dust off the scissors, the glue and the glitter. I can’t wait to share the books I loved, and to discover new ones together. After 18 years in the wilderness I feel as though this rediscovery of the things I loved could very well be the key to being a happier and more fulfilled ‘grown up’.
As an adult it’s all too easy to get bogged down in what’s practical and what we ‘ought’ to be doing – but true happiness comes when we do what we love. So maybe we could all learn a lesson from our 9 year old selves about what we should be doing with our lives?
What would you do?