I recently found a resume I wrote when I was 11 years old. It was a hand-written paragraph describing my "extensive work experience" babysitting, my house cleaning skills, and affordable rates. I was a pretty cool kid at 11. Even then, I never said "no previous job experience"; I was optimistic that the skills I'd learned in my years at home somehow prepared me for a big-kid job.
|From left to right: Me, my little sister Paige, and my older sister Bri. |
As I remember it, we were the coolest 90s kids.
Lately I've reverted somewhat to the childhood Ashley; the one who wears her cowboy boots and swimsuit around the neighborhood, soliciting family friends for candy through song and dance. I'm not that intense any more, but I still do put on my boots whenever I walk around the house. I've found that at a time in my life where I'm really only motivated for like three hours of my day, and the rest I mostly feel tired or of ill use, I can put my cowboy boots on and literally go to work. When my boots are on, I feel powerful; like I'm going to kick butt somewhere and get junk done! I do my laundry in my boots. I pay the bills in my boots. I play some keyboard or guitar, or write a blog post, or bake a cake, or make a scrapbook page all in my boots.
|I'm the rascal on the left|
I love that these boots remind me of my childhood, and wish I had a picture of the swimsuit and boots getup. If my kid self saw me now, I think she'd have a few things to say to me.
First, she'd be sad that all the Beanie Babies I meticulously saved weren't worth a billion dollars, and that I finally sold them at garage sales along with my Sky Dancers, Skip-It, Tomogachi, Easy-Bake Oven, and those bears you can draw on with marker and then wash later. My kid self would be happy to see that I still own Jellies for my adult-sized feet. She'd be happy when I told her that while we were here in Laramie, we weren't afraid to play with our friends kids; how we've loved building snow forts with the neighbors, or tossing them around while their parents aren't looking. After all, the grown-up me thinks it's pretty cool that our friends son listed us as his "best friends" along with the other three-year-olds in his class, his Mom and Dad, and younger brother. He even gave us a cute Valentine, which honestly makes me feel the coolest, and which we proudly display on our fridge.
Kid Ashley would realize how important it is to throw yourself into any situation, headfirst, throwing caution to the wind, even if that means just showing up to Mother's play group when you yourself don't have any children, or entering a cake-building contest when you've never done it before. Or even if that means staying fearless when you put yourself out there and don't get the job you want. It doesn't matter in the long run. Do I look back now and regret all the things I tried and failed when I was five? NO! I wanted to publish a novel, be a paleontologist-spy, save the planet, and invent things. I did my best and didn't worry about the outcome, which is something I would remind me today.
I miss my kid self's endless energy and spunk.
I guess what I'm saying is that we can all learn from the past, and the little people we once were don't just disappear when we outgrow them. I am very proud of the things I did when I was little, and more importantly the attitude I had toward life. Though those experiences are in the past, they shaped the person I am today. I would do good to always remember to keep learning and growing, making everything an adventure, just as my kid self did.